News

Curbside kitchen scrap pickup in Saanich in 15 months

By spring 2014, all Saanich residents will need to think twice before throwing away coffee filters, chicken bones and unwanted leftovers.

Saanich council on Monday is expected to discuss revamping its garbage collection model to keep kitchen scraps out of the trash and out of the landfill.

According to a report from Dave McAra, Saanich's manager of solid waste services, the municipality intends to implement twice-monthly curbside collection of kitchen scraps and household garbage using separate bins before 2015.

A comprehensive implementation plan outlines a "pay as you throw" model, that will see each Saanich home pay between an estimated $156 and $210 annually, depending on the amount of garbage and organics a family tosses out.

"This collection model is equitable, incentive-based and 'customizable', giving residents the flexibility to choose the (collection) carts that best fit their household needs," McAra wrote in the report.

As of Jan. 1, 2015, the Capital Regional District will ban kitchen scraps from Hartland landfill.

Mayor Frank Leonard told the News in an interview last year that he had given up hope that the CRD would implement a regional kitchen scrap program, so Saanich moved forward independently.

In spring and summer 2012, Saanich ran a three-month pilot project involving 583 homes with kitchen scrap and curbside garbage pickup, which gauged resident support and program logistics.

McAra's report indicates that pilot project "demonstrated 37 per cent of household waste could be diverted from the landfill and recycled into a useful product."

If council approves the new collection model Monday night, McAra anticipates it'll take 15 months before Saanich residents will see firsthand changes.

The program will be phased in, with half of Saanich participating in kitchen scrap collection one month before the other half of the municipality.

In addition to educating residents, Saanich will have to replace its collection fleet, update collection routes and schedules to "maximize efficiencies" and secure contracts with an organics processor and for the purchase and delivery of 62,000 new carts.

Each cart, McAra says, will be capable of using radio frequency technology, should Saanich move to weight-based billing in the future.

In addition to the benefit of keeping kitchen scraps out of the landfill, Saanich estimates some 3,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases will be eliminated with the implementation of the program.

For more information on the proposed kitchen scraps recycling program, visit saanich.ca/services/garbage.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

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