Food waste at transfer stations off the table

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District will not continue to collect food waste at transfer stations.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District will not continue to collect food waste at transfer stations.

A report presented by CSRD team leader of environmental health services, Ben Van Nostrand, outlined the issue with transfer stations at a board meeting, Dec. 2.

He said the results of a transfer-station trial indicated those in rural areas tended to use compost in their backyards, opposed to dropping off the food waste at transfer stations.

“At the end of the day the results kind of bore out what we expected in the rural communities. Folks are probably using backyard composters and other means to get rid of their food waste. The numbers don’t support, in my mind, advancing this program any further.”

Participants were provided with kitchen catchers and keys to access the stations.

The transfer station options were part of two food-waste trials conducted by the district: the residential-curbside food waste trial which took place in Salmon Arm, and the transfer station drop-off trial with locations at: Glenemma, Skimikin, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Scotch Creek, Malakwa, Sorento and Falkland.

Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper said she had heard feedback from residents in Salmon Arm who thought the trial was worthwhile.

Van Nostrand said the transfer stations were used more in densely populated areas: Salmon Arm, Sorrento and Blind Bay.

“I would argue that it points us to a need for a curbside program,” he said, adding although people in populated areas didn’t mind taking their food waste to transfer stations, it was more convenient to have a curbside option.

South Shuswap director Paul Demenok supported curbside pick up in his area.

The 30-week transfer-station trial cost more than $25,000, which equates to more than $12,000 per metric ton to divert food waste through a rural depot drop-off, said the report.

Salmon Arm and Sorrento had the greatest number of participants using the stations. Salmon Arm had 34 participants with 711 kilograms diverted and Sorrento had 32 participants with 669 kilograms diverted from the landfill.

Van Nostrand said discussion will continue regarding curbside food waste pick up in the district in 2017.