Dave McAra

Saanich prepares to launch kitchen scrap recycling program

Saanich's pilot project runs May through July in two select neighbourhoods.

Those chicken and fish bones, paper wrappers and mouldy cheeses that aren’t fit to compost may not have to wind up in your trash much longer.

Saanich is embarking on a three-month kitchen scraps recycling pilot project, where anything from compostibles to soiled paper towel won’t be sent to the landfill.

“I’ve been pushing at the regional level for this to happen for some time, and basically our initiative is a sign that we’ve given up on the CRD providing the service,” Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said.

As Hartland Landfill is estimated to be full by 2035, Leonard said steps need to be taken to divert as much waste as possible from the landfill. That will hopefully give it a longer lifespan.

Saanich’s pilot project runs May through July in two select neighbourhoods: Borden and Nicolson streets, and Braefoot Road and Livingstone Avenue N.

The 583 participating homes will receive two carts (to separate garbage and kitchen scraps) in lieu of garbage cans, along with a kitchen container and collection bags.

Two different collection methods are being tested: modified backyard pickup (crews grab the carts from on your property and leave them at the curb once emptied), and curbside pickup (residents will be expected to move carts to the curb on collection day).

Dave McAra, Saanich’s manager of public works, says the goal of the pilot is to collect feedback from residents on the different collection methods, and see what the operational demands are on public works crews.

“We want to collect as much information as possible, so depending on what the CRD decides (down the road), we’ll have some good data,” he said.

Two municipal trucks will come around to the pilot neighbourhoods on collection day – one will empty the garbage cart, one will empty the kitchen scraps cart.

The kitchen scraps will be sent up to Hartland, but then diverted — most likely to a processing facility in Cobble Hill, McAra said.

“I’m hoping we get over 20 per cent (diversion),” he said. Over the span of the three months, he estimates two tonnes of kitchen scraps will be collected from the pilot area.

“I think there’s still this sentiment that this is just backyard compost – but it’s more than that,” said Mike Ippen, manager of public works.

Fruit and veggie scraps, any leftover food, soiled paper products, coffee filters and grounds, solidified fat and grease, nuts and shells are all welcome in the kitchen scrap bin.

Plastic, styrofoam, aluminum foil, pet feces, diapers, and yard and garden waste are among the items that aren’t acceptable.

Much of the cost of the pilot project – $49,000 – should be recoverable, McAra said. Because Saanich is using its existing crews and existing trucks during the project, the only costs are associated with purchasing the collection carts, which are re-sellable.

Leonard hopes the CRD will eventually get onboard with a region-wide collection model, but he’s glad that his municipality is moving forward on something he says is long overdue.

“There’s some important service options to work through,” he said. “Usually taxpayers aren’t interested in operational issues, but operational issues cost money, and (taxpayers) do care about their tax bill.”

The 2012 budget sees Saanich taxpayers spending $149.60 per household for garbage collection.

The city of Victoria in February announced it will launch its own kitchen scraps collection program commencing in 2013. That municipality will use the modified backyard pickup collection method.

– with files from Roszan Holmen

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read