By Jim Holtz, Rossland News
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has recently approved to provide $130,000 to begin the process of expanding their waste management program to include the separation and collection of organic waste.
Tim Dueck, Solid Waste Management Coordinator for the RDKB, said that the new program should be in place some time in 2015.
“We would complete our Solid Waste Management Plan in 2014. We would have that strategic plan to move forward with, and then we could start rolling this thing out into the 2015 period. We want to do this very carefully and clearly so everyone understands what the options are.”
Alan Stanley, General Manager of Environmental Services for the RDKB said that there would be public meetings in February and March. The process, he said is to prepare a plan, submit to the public for consultation, make changes based on public input, submit the amended plan to the RDKB directors for their approval, and then submit it to the Ministry of Environment for final approval.
“These plans are finally approved by the provincial government. This is a big deal,” he said. “Once you get your plan in place, it is pretty much your marching orders for about ten years.”
Stanley said that the final plan will probably resemble that which is in place already in Grand Forks.
“We have a program there that is working very well,” he said. “Grand Forks is our showcase for how this can work in other areas. The program has proven that this can work in communities of less than 4000 households. In the Grand forks model, they have general garbage collection every two weeks. Every week we pick up the organic, smelly stuff, and every week we pick up either the recyclable material or the residual garbage.”
Dueck said that there are issues around garbage collection in rural areas that are not found in urban areas.
“We recognize that there are issue around wildlife management when we talk about garbage collection in rural areas,” he said.
“However, as long as people are properly managing their garbage in their back yards, ie. having proper storage bins, then the addition of a green bin shouldn’t make a difference in the scheme of things. We are at times a little perplexed at the suggestion that, oh, well, now we are going to have to do something different to look after our organic garbage to minimize wildlife interactions. Well, no, you are going to the same thing that you did with your garbage can.”
When asked if there would be penalties imposed on those who refused to take part in the sorting of organic waste and/or recyclables, Stanley said. “You go through an education process with people,” he said. “The drivers at the roadside can detect whether the right stuff is in the right bins, and there is a process of informing people what they should be doing if they’re not doing something quite right. If people don’t want to take part in the diversion program, they can buy additional garbage bags for three bucks a pop. I guess that is the penalty (for not participating).”
Stanley said that more information and an opportunity for comment can be found on Facebook and the RDKB website: rdkb.com