The Regional District of Central Kootenay has drafted a new plan for recycling, composting and landfilling

Nelson, BC:  The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is in the final stages of updating its Resource Recovery Plan (RRP); a blueprint for how to reduce, reuse, recycle and manage waste in this region over the next 10 years. The RDCK calls it a Resource Recovery Plan, because when 'waste' products can be used for something else, such as growing food, they then become a 'resource'.

A RRP is a plan that all BC regional districts must prepare and update every ten years. According to the RDCK’s Todd Johnston, who is coordinating the RRP update, “We’ve been working with consultants and a great advisory committee with representation from municipal government, business, and the general public to come up with a plan that we think is progressive but do-able.”

Johnston adds, “Our previous RRPs have focused on improving our disposal system. This one focuses more on Zero Waste initiatives – reducing what we send to the landfill. In particular, the plan targets food waste, which is roughly one-quarter of what we landfill. Composting food waste will not only save landfill space but will also reduce the generation of methane in our landfills. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, much more potent than carbon dioxide.  So, by tackling food waste we are also addressing the climate emergency.”

Before they finalize the new plan, the RDCK is seeking community feedback. An online survey has been posted on the website, www.rdck.ca/rrp. To thank people for taking the time to provide feedback, survey respondents can enter a draw for one of two $100 gift certificates to a local business of their choice.

The RDCK is already moving ahead with diverting food waste from being landfilled. They have approved the construction of two food waste composting facilities, one in Creston and one near Salmo. In 2022, Creston, Castlegar and Nelson will add food scraps collection to their waste residential collection service.

One of the ideas the RDCK is seeking feedback on is whether to expand food waste collection into other areas within the RDCK. Should other municipalities consider a food waste collection program?  Should there be a food scraps and garbage collection program provided in the higher density parts of the electoral areas, particularly if there is a composting facility nearby?

The RDCK has mailed out a newsletter to all homes about the draft RRP. It provides a good overview of what’s in the draft plan, and it includes more information on the idea of a collection service for food scraps and garbage in the electoral areas. To get this information and a link to the survey, visit www.rdck.ca/rrp.

The RDCK wants to make the survey accessible for people who can’t fill it out online. “RDCK residents can give us a call and we will fill out the survey with them over the phone. With COVID, we didn’t want to have to figure out the logistics and safety protocols of distributing and returning paper surveys, so between having the survey online and the phone option, we think we have everyone covered,” says Johnston.

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The content on this page was last updated June 2 2021 at 1:29 PM