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Kamloops eyes organic waste collection program

Council has approved $1.3 million from the city’s solid waste reserve to be allocated to the program in order to apply for funding. The city hopes to launch a pilot program next fall in a select number of neighbourhoods.
organic waste

Kamloops council has committed funds toward a residential curbside organic waste program, with the hopes of securing grant funding.

Following a presentation last month on a multi-phased program rollout to collect home food scraps, yard waste and more at the curb, the city’s environmental services manager, Glen Farrow, told council two grants have been identified by staff: the Green Municipal Fund through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and CleanBC through the provincial government.

Farrow said the grants could cover $2.2 million of the $5.7 million program. He said in order to apply for the grants, the city had to allocate funding.

Council heard staff will come back to council should grant funding not be secured and alternative financing options would be provided. Council has approved $1.3 million from the city’s solid waste reserve to be allocated to the program in order to apply for the funding. The city hopes to launch a pilot program next fall in a select number of neighbourhoods.

The first phase of the project is already underway, including public consultation and garbage bin audits, which are being done to help the city better understand garbage collection routes.

Cost and potential funding breakdowns

• Phase one, fact-finding: $87,000 total cost for route audits and public engagement. The city hopes to secure $43,500 in funding from the Green Municipal Fund for a net cost to the city of $43,500);

• Phase two, pilot program: $349,000 total cost for containers and infrastructure ($188,000), operating costs and engagement ($121,000) and contingency ($40,000). The city hopes to secure $129,000 in funding from the Green Municipal Fund, for a net cost to the city of $220,000 (approved for spending by council on Tuesday, should grant funding be successful.)

• Phase three, implementation: $5.3 million total cost, including $3.5 million in capital costs: containers ($2.2 million), vehicles and equipment ($1 million), transfer station ($300,000) and $1.75 million in ongoing operating costs. The city hopes to secure $2 million in CleanBC and Green Municipal Fund grant funding, for a net cost to the city of $3.3 million.

User fees unknown

A Kamloops councillor said it is difficult to gauge support of the public for such a program without knowing how much it will cost residents. Coun. Arjun Singh asked what homeowners will pay in utility rates for the service. Farrow said high-level rough numbers have been assessed, but noted the plan looks to address solid waste as a whole. He said a new charge would likely occur for organic waste collection; however, the cost to collect garbage could simultaneously go down. One option the city is exploring for the program is to collect garbage less frequently.

End product would go elsewhere for time being

Farrow said the end product resulting from residential curbside organic waste collection would be hauled to another community for processing — at least at first. Farrow explained that the end product could not be processed at Cinnamon Ridge or elsewhere because the type of product is different from regular yard waste.

“The risk or the threat of the vectors, birds, rats, smell is significantly higher,” Farrow said.

Civic operations director Jen Fretz noted that the city’s long-term goal would be to keep the material in Kamloops.

Related: City eyes organic waste collection by 2023