Kamloops sees additional support for curbside organic waste collection

The City of Kamloops is the latest to propose a curbside collection service for organics

Kamloops could be getting a residential curbside organic waste collection service operated by the City within the next few years.

The City of Kamloops recently put out a call for public input, encouraging residents to read the three-phased approach, look at the frequently asked questions, and take a poll on the engagement website.

“A residential curbside organics collection program would allow residents to divert food and other organic waste from the garbage bin to an organics bin,” said Marcia Dick, the City’s Solid Waste Services Analyst.

“A residential curbside organics collection program would allow residents to divert food and other organic waste from the garbage bin to an organics bin,” Dick added.

It’s estimated that a residential curbside organic waste collection program would reduce approximately 2,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. This amount, equivalent to around removing 600 passenger vehicles, will also save the City $1 million in costs related to local landfill capacity.

The City’s Official Community Plan and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Solid Waste Management Plan both aim to reduce waste to the landfill to 560 kg/person annually by 2023. The implementation of this organic waste collection program is consistent with the waste reduction goal.

In 2019, the individual disposal rate was 750kg/person annually.

While implementing this organic waste collection project, pending grant acquisition, isn’t slated until July 2023, another curbside organic waste collection service is available to Kamloops residents.

Friendly Composting is a locally-owned and operated business that was founded in March 2020. For almost a year, the team has serviced residential and commercial clients through their own organic waste pick-up service. The company began when founders and owners Katie Forsyth and Claire McLoughlin noticed a gap in the community after living in other cities with access to composting services.

Every week, composters can set out their bins, allowing the Friendly Composting team to pick up their organic waste and drop a clean two-gallon bin off in exchange. Nearly 500 residential and around 10 commercial composters are serviced by Friendly Composting.

The subscription service also allows residents to order products from local food sources and producers, such as Brynn’s Bakery, Local Pulse and Shuswap Coffee Co, delivered weekly with the clean bin.

And the end of each week, the organic waste is brought to Holmwood Farm to be processed. The Barnhartvale farm is a sustainable ranch owned by Gillian Watt, the Program Coordinator of the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program at TRU.

News that the City was implementing their own organic waste collection program wasn’t a surprise to Friendly Composting, “When we first sat down and decided to start this business, we actually contacted the city because we were hearing rumours that they were going to implement the composting program,” said McLoughlin.

“It’s definitely something we’ve been in the loop with. Honestly, it’s really really great. That’s the reason we founded our business, to fill that gap in the community. We felt that proper waste management is just so important,” she added.

While the idea that the City’s operation could be potential competition for the small business, McLoughlin addressed the resource capacity difference, noting the City could only manage the resources required to service Kamloops’ population entirely at this point.

McLoughlin also sees an opportunity to provide service to individuals and families not living in single-family houses that wouldn’t be eligible for the City’s program. She noted that the additional perks of a clean bin and the continued delivery of local products were reasons enough to continue the service.

“Ultimately, we just want to see Kamloops composting, so however that gets done, it’s awesome,” McLoughlin said.