It was the fourth-consecutive year of diverting organic waste from the Interior Provincial Exhibition, and Spa Hills Compost, along with help from dedicated staff as well as volunteers from the Girl Guides of Canada, composted a record 14,912 pounds of organic waste.
This weight includes all food waste from the food court, paper towel from washrooms, paper plates, wooden cutlery and certified compostable plastic cups. The IPE has been working with Spa Hills over the last few years to drastically reduce waste at the fair, with much success.
In 2015 the Fair diverted 1,250 pounds; in 2016, 6,910 pounds and in 2017 more than 10,000 pounds.
“With the huge wildfires in B.C. again this year, we need compost to help our agricultural soils retain water,” said Keli Westgate, sales and marketing manager. “It’s critical to hold moisture in the soil in our dry region and using compost also increases local food security by adding nutrients to the soil.”
She added that the IPE is one of very few events the company does as they are generally a weekly pickup service for businesses and multi-unit residential buildings, but the IPE is “a great way to get the information out to the public and interact with people composting, seeing that it’s very easy and much more than they may think can actually be composted. In a facility like ours, we can take things like meat and bones, and cooked foods, grains, things you may not necessarily want in your home compost.
“These items can attract pests and potential pathogens to a home garden as the temperatures just don’t get hot enough to kill the bacteria and smells. We get up to very high temperatures at our facility and can control the time and temperature very precisely for the best and safest results.”