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

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in Victoria

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

Public packs Victoria mosque during B.C.’s Open Mosque Day

‘The best way to deal with fear is to educate. That’s what we are trying to do here’

Vancouver Island First Nations Youth Ambassadors deliver message to the United Nations

The delegation appeared at an event celebrating ‘the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity’

Turning pro on the Island

Pacific FC’s Brad Norris-Jones talks about his journey to pro sports in Victoria

Fitness and health programming drew more than 12,000 participants in Saanich

New report also finds a gender split in programming

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Most Read