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Organics waste collection to pilot in Grand Forks

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
April 14th, 2011

 There will be a new style of garbage collection in Grand Forks this year. The city has offered to pilot the new collection system proposed by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary that will include curbside organic waste, recycling and garbage pick up on alternating weeks.

Mayor Brian Taylor explained at city council’s meeting on Monday, Apr. 11 that the city offered to pilot the program to see if it is effective. A pilot program gives the RDKB the opportunity to demonstrate the way the system works. Taylor hopes that piloting the project will allow them to fine-tune it as they move forward and address concerns before they go area wide on the program.  “This will allow Grand Forks, in total or in part, to move forward with this as quickly as we can arrange it with the contractor,” said Taylor. “This could be implemented over the next few months in a small area, a few subdivisions, or throughout the whole city. The voice of Grand Forks was heard at the regional table and although implementation in Christina Lake and area D won’t likely go ahead until later, we are going to be the pilot project.”  The RDKB introduced the proposed collection system as a part of their long-term planning for the landfills in the region. Alan Stanley, director of environmental services for the region, presented the plans at recent town hall meetings in Christina Lake and Grand Forks. The full proposal would have the service area to include the entire East Boundary.  Stanley explained that the new service will not only extend the life of the landfill, but will help reduce backyard burning, encourage composting to redirect waste from the landfill, and will help the region in obtaining required carbon credits from the provincial government.  “The best solution is to separate everything before it gets anywhere else,” said Stanley at a meeting in February. “It’s a simple system and it basically uses equipment we already have. Forty – fifty percent of what you put in the garbage can is organic waste. We’re proposing to take the organic waste out of the garbage.  Concerns were raised at the council meeting about the cost of the program, but Taylor advised that the services may in fact be cheaper in the long run.  “The intent of the pilot project… is to create an organic waste stream which will be an additional service to whichever neighbourhood chooses the pilot,” said Moslin. “I certainly would be in favour of a pilot project for one of our communities to create this waste stream. It would not be fair to increase the cost of one neighbourhood because of the pilot, or to suddenly put an extra cost on our garbage system.”  Taylor said they do not yet have the actual costs of the program and will take concerns into consideration as they proceed in negotiating the contracts.

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