City of Vernon residents will be getting another can for their waste pickup.
The city said Monday, Feb. 7, it’s taking the next steps to help divert household food and yard waste from the landfill with a new curbside organics collection program.
The new program, slated to begin in mid-May, is a result of a key recommendation made in Vernon’s Climate Action Plan in 2021.
“The action plan emphasizes that our community can become more resilient, healthier and economically stronger while simultaneously reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that we contribute to climate change,” said Cumming.
“We take these recommendations seriously. City council is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and responding to the impacts of climate change by taking strategic, practical and sustainable actions. Launching an organics collection program now is an investment in a more sustainable future for Vernon.”
Mary Stockdale, co-chair of the Climate Action Advisory Committee and one of the contributors to the plan, stood with Mayor Cumming at the news conference which took place outside her residence at the base of East Hill.
“The vision of the action plan is for Vernon to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Stockdale. “Kitchen and yard organic materials disposed of in the landfill are the third largest source – seven per cent – of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in our city every year. We can change this.
“It’s within the power of Vernon residents to make choices about how we handle food waste and yard material. It’s great to know that we will have a chance to make a difference simply by using the new organics carts.”
On May 1, the city’s residential waste collection contract will be transitioning to Emterra Environmental Group and the organics program is anticipated to start at the same time. After the organic materials are collected they will be taken to a compost facility to be made into chemical-free fertilizer by Spa Hills Farm, a locally operated company.
“We look forward to joining forces with the city to expand on the work it’s done to achieve its sustainability targets,” said Emterra chief sustainability officer Paulina Leung. “The rollout of Vernon’s organics program will divert valuable resources from landfill and bring the city one step closer to creating a circular economy, making Vernon an even greener, healthier place to live.”
The new organics carts will look similar to the automated garbage carts residents received last year, but they will have a green lid instead of black.
“Every household that currently has curbside garbage collection service will get a new 120-litre organics cart,” said Cumming.” For comparison in size, the garbage carts delivered last year are 240L. The contents of the organics cart will get collected every week so the 120L size should work well for almost all Vernon residences.”
If, however, for some households with five or more people, or those with large lots and yards with gardens and orchards, a bigger cart might be needed.
The city has taken steps to make it possible for residents who they think they need a larger cart to request one. Simply visit the city website at vernon.ca/organicscart to fill out a form and request a 240L organics cart.
Requests will be taken until 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, so carts can be manufactured and delivered by the program launch.
Residents who don’t have access to a computer and who need a larger 240L cart can call 250-549-6757 for assistance in filling out the request form.
More information will be shared over the next few months about the upcoming organics program, as well as adjustments that will be made to residential garbage collection as waste is diverted from the landfill.
Residents are encouraged to stay tuned to the city’s website and social media channels as it prepares for this new service.