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Petition to bring composting system to Kamloops gaining traction

Compost
A new petition is looking to ban organic waste going into local landfills. (via Shutterstock)

The province is aiming to bring down the waste per British Columbian down to 350 kg per year by 2020.

In Kamloops, it's estimated one resident produces around 700 kg per year (a 2018 number), according to the city's annual report.

One way to take a significant chunk out of that is to compost, an issue Addie de Candole is pushing council to look at more seriously with a petition.

"I think it's about time we started putting the pressure on food scraps," she says. "The City of Kamloops did a waste audit; 43 per cent was compostable and 23 per cent is actually food. The rest is lumber that could be composted."

With nearly half the weight of waste being compostable, and a quarter of items being vegetable pieces, fruit cores and tea bags, a compost system would have a drastic impact on how much waste is coming from Kamloops households, she says.

Compost has been a regular issue brought up to city staff and council for years; in the 2010 Sustainable Kamloops report, "investigate compost" options was a goal. However, it's often been connected to how the city will deal with biosolids. When city staff has been asked by KamloopsMatters in the past, the response is usually similar. The collection wouldn't be much of a burden, it'd be similar to recycling and garbage. However, where it goes is the issue.

The same issue comes up in conversations de Candole has had with city staff.

"It sounds like the conservation on food scraps has been delayed because of biosolids, that's kind of how things go," she says.

She's hoping with the petition, composting will garner more widespread support and become more of a priority. 

There's more to it than just having less trash in the landfill, she adds. The composting would mean the landfill wouldn't fill up as fast, which would extend its life.

Also, there's what's produced when organic waste is thrown into the garbage.

"When you put food into the landfill, it produces methane," de Candole says. "It's a greenhouse gas four times as strong as carbon dioxide."

She's planning to bring the petition, along with letters of support she's been collecting, to council at the end of August.

The petition can be found online, though she'll also be at the Kamloops Farmers Market to get signatures and share information. For those wanting to be more involved, you can get in touch with de Candole through the Facebook page Let's Compost, Kamloops!

As of Monday afternoon (July 22), the petition had 394 signatures out of 500.




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Brendan Kergin

About the Author: Brendan Kergin

Brendan Kergin is a digital reporter based in Kamloops.
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