Backyard composting program

Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako implementing a program to reduce the amount of compostable organic material entering local landfills.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is implementing a pilot program designed to reduce the amount of compostable organic material entering local landfills.

At their meeting Feb. 20 meeting, regional district directors authorized establishment of the Backyard Composting Program at a cost of $4126. The money will be used to offer composting workshops throughout the RDBN and subsidize the sale of 100 backyard compost “bin and mixing tool” packages.

“The budget for this pilot project has been set at $8,789.20,” Carolynn Lane, RDBN Sustainability Assistant, said last week. “This includes the up-front cost of 100 compost bins and mixing tools, as well as advertising/printing costs and staff travel. However, if all 100 composters are purchased by the public, the cost to the RDBN will be $4126.”

Food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and other compostable organic materials make up more than 30 per cent of the waste currently entering RDBN landfills. The regional district, Lane explained, hopes that by providing public education and subsidized bins, it can encourage more residents to undertake backyard composting – and ultimately reduce the pressure on local landfills.

While the project is still in the planning stages, Lane said it will probably get underway in May or June, when the RDBN will conduct compost ‘launches’ in each of its member communities. At these events, staff members will host workshops and offer the composting packages for sale at a subsidized price of $40.

If this spring’s pilot project is successful, it may lead to establishment of a more permanent program.

“Future compost program plans may be developed after assessing the success of this pilot project,” Lane said.