Kitchen scrap collection pilot launches in April

Pilot program will collect from 600 Saanich homes to assess the best way to go about diverting compostables from entering Hartland Landfill.

Saanich is set to launch a curbside kitchen scrap collection pilot project next April to assess the best way to go about diverting compostables from entering Hartland Landfill.

Around 600 homes in the municipality will be initially targeted.

The goal is to see whether residents actually make use of the program and determine the most cost-effective method of collecting.

“It’s been a pet peeve of mine for almost 20 years,” Mayor Frank Leonard said about the absence of kitchen waste collection. “Compostable food waste is a huge part of the waste stream. I’ve been frustrated the CRD hasn’t been able to put together a program that can capture it. … We owe it to the citizens to get on with it.”

Dave McAra, Saanich’s manager of solid waste services and fleet operations, says the municipality will use its current staff and current trucks during the pilot.

View Royal, which currently has a kitchen scraps program, will manage the waste collected in Saanich during the three-month pilot at a $107-per-tonne fee under its existing private-sector contract.

“It’ll be a relatively small volume over three months,” McAra said, “somewhere around 15 to 18 tonnes.”

The next step for McAra is to put out a request for proposals asking for the separate carts that will be used for garbage and kitchen scraps.

The City of Victoria is launching its own kitchen scrap program in January 2013, opting to jump into full collection from the start.

When that program launches, the plan is to truck the waste to a processing facility in Cobble Hill, 48 kilometres over the Malahat.

Local opportunities to process, however, are beginning to crop up. Three facilities within the capital region are in varying stages of readiness.

Each offers different advantages, including shorter trucking distances, valuable byproducts, and cheaper processing prices.

A proposal on a site in Sooke, called South Island Organics, would knock approximately 10 kilometres off the current trip.

Once the company secures a feedstock agreement from a sizeable municipality such as Victoria or Saanich, it could open within six months, said general manager Paul Hooper.

Another proposal is from Ian Vantreight of Vantreight Farms for a facility on the Peninsula – a significantly closer option.

The third proposal is from Stanhope Farm, also based in Central Saanich. It’s been operating a compost facility known as Foundation Organics since earlier this year.

The Capital Regional District estimates the region produces 14,000 tonnes of kitchen waste annually, which would be worth as much as $4.3 million per year to whoever wins the contract.

– with files from Roszan Holmen

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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