In a media release Friday, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said it has received a $2,364,012 Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund – Organics Infrastructure Program grant to expand the Grand Forks Regional Landfill composting program.
The RDKB said the expansion will cost a total of $3.5 million with the RDKB, federal and provincial governments each funding one third of the project costs.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors I would like to thank the federal and provincial governments for funding expansion of our organics program in the Boundary,” said Diane Langman, RDKB Board Chair.
"We were already a leader in our region for our unique curbside collection program in rural areas in the Boundary. With this funding in place, we will be the only rural regional district in BC that collects and processes all the food waste materials in our region in addition to much of the industrial and commercial organic waste."
The RDKB said this program will expand the regional district's organics processing capacity to include food-waste materials from the industrial, commercial and institutional sector throughout the Boundary region and initiate food-waste collection for residents of Greenwood.
The expanded composting facility at the Grand Forks Regional Landfill site will primarily process food waste, wood, yard and garden waste. It will help conserve landfill space, reduce leachate and greenhouse gas emissions, and produce a useful product in the form of compost.
Upgrades to the Grand Forks composting operation will include:
- Installation of impermeable surfaces
- Leachate collection and control
- Surface and storm water diversion
- Aeration of composting bunkers
- Enhanced odour control by covering organic materials with specialized, GORE® membrane covers
The RDKB has also partnered with the Regional District of Central Kootenay in a $2.3 million cross-regional composting program which has received a $1,536,585 Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund – Organics Infrastructure Program grant.
The joint RDCK-RDKB program will target the processing of organic waste from regional curbside collection from RDKB Electoral Areas ‘A’, ‘B’/Lower-Columbia/Old Glory, Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale, as well as from the cities of Castlegar and Nelson in the RDCK. It will also include organic waste from the commercial sector in both regional districts.
Once all these organics infrastructure projects are completed, curbside collection will capture almost half the food waste produced in the RDCK, and the majority of food waste produced in the RDKB.
The program will reduce the RDKB’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across the region and is a key initiative toward becoming a carbon neutral local government. Composting is effective at reducing GHG because organic materials composted in an oxygen-rich environment produce carbon dioxide whereas organic materials buried in a landfill produce methane. Both carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases, but methane is up to 27 times more potent.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work our staff and our directors have been doing to get us closer to becoming carbon neutral. I know we will get there in the coming years,” said Chair Langman.
The Organics Infrastructure Program combines $10 million in federal funding from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, $10 million from the Province and $10 million in matching funds from local government applicants and their partners.