The new Organics Compost Facility at the Oliver Landfill is officially open.
On Monday, June 5, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new facility.
This facility will change the process in which yard waste and organics are processed at the landfill and will provide Oliver and Electoral Area C residents with a more economical and environmentally-friendly means of diverting organic material and provides a soil additive that will be available for purchase.
Officials at the regional district expect the curbside collection program will be modified to include food waste in the future. The facility is expected to be fully up and running by this summer.
The contract, awarded around one year ago, was for nearly $1.18 million.
The new facility diverts organics that would otherwise be buried or burned. This will reduce the need to ship waste out of the region in the future, reduce environmental impacts such as burying or burning, and will help keep community waste disposal costs low.
It also reduces greenhouse gases by trapping carbon, reducing methane generation and converting organics into a stable form of carbon.
The facility provides a soil additive that helps to reduce water usage and the use of chemical soil additives on farms such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which can create greenhouse gases and cause environmental and health implications for streams and lakes.
The compost produced will meet Organic Certified standards and can be used on farms or for landscaping.
The facility also creates a means to safely dispose of agricultural pests such as the cherry fruit fly.
“Oliver’s new Organics Compost Facility will deliver a substantial benefit to residents and farmers in the area,” said Mark Pendergraft, chair of the regional district board. “This is an important step in reducing our environmental impact.”
This project was funded through B.C.’s Organics Infrastructure Program, with support from the federal and provincial governments. The program combines funding from the federal Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, the province, and Organics Infrastructure Program award recipients.
The regional district was one of 17 successful funding recipients.
“Every community plays an important role in addressing the climate crisis, and keeping organic waste out of our landfills is one way we can reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “It is great to see the completion of this facility, which will create a healthier, more resilient community for people in Oliver and the surrounding area.”
“The ongoing climate crisis is spurring innovative new solutions all across Canada. We’re supporting strong local actions that help green our communities and provide a better home for future generations,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
“The opening of this new organics compost facility is a good example of how we can manage waste and reduce our impact on the environment. I applaud efforts by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen as they help lead the way to a sustainable future.”
The facility, at 498 Saddle Ridge Rd., Oliver, is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. from March to November. From December to February, it is open Monday to Friday from noon to 3:45 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
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