Bill Alde, from Pink Cherry in Salmon Arm.

Bill Alde, from Pink Cherry in Salmon Arm.

CSRD helps Salmon Arm, Shuswap-area businesses transition to food waste composting

Initiative will help keep food waste out of the landfill

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) continues to work with businesses in the Salmon Arm and Shuswap area to assist with their transition to food waste composting. The initiative to request that businesses separate their food waste was approved by the CSRD Board of Directors in November of 2015, and since then, waste haulers and CSRD staff have been educating business owners about the new program. “Approximately 30 businesses and institutions in the area are now composting their food waste,” says CSRD Waste Reduction Facilitator Carmen Fennell. “But there are still a number of businesses, including restaurants and government offices that have not yet made the transition.”

The CSRD promotes a zero waste strategy, and keeping waste out of the landfill is an important part of that strategy. Waste characterization studies completed at the Salmon Arm Landfill reveal that organic waste accounts for 30% of all waste entering the landfill. “By diverting food waste from the landfill, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and turning waste into valuable compost.”

Local businesses and institutions are responsible to secure the services to collect and remove their food waste. This includes not only restaurants, but hotels, shopping centres, offices, arenas, sports facilities and senior’s residences.

“We are very encouraged by the participation we have seen so far,” says Fennell, “and want to recognize the organizations that have taken the steps to separate their food waste, as they are definitely champions in our community.” The CSRD will be presenting window clings to businesses who compost their food waste to display on their doors or windows. “This will let customers know as soon as they walk in the door that the establishment they are visiting supports waste reduction.”

On July 1, 2018, the bylaw regulating food waste takes effect and commercial loads containing food waste will be charged the disposal fee of $160/tonne, up from the current $80/tonne. CSRD staff is available to answer any questions business owners may have to help make the transition.

What’s included? All food, raw and cooked, including:

  • Plate scrapings
  • Egg shells and dairy products
  • Meat, fish, shellfish and bones
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Bread, rice, beans, noodles and grains
  • Jams, sauces, salad dressings and cooking oil
  • Pastries, cookies, cakes and muffins
  • Nuts, seeds, chips, popcorn and candy
  • Coffee filters and teabags
  • Paper plates, napkin, paper take-out containers and solid cardboard.

“We are here to help in whatever way we can to support the transition,” Fennell says, noting department staff have been conducting site visits, and can provide waste audits and staff training to support businesses.

For more information please contact Carmen Fennell, Waste Reduction Facilitator, at 250.833.5936 or visit the CSRD website at www.csrd.bc.ca.