The Regional District of North Okanagan board has delayed implementation of a food scraps ban program for six months to provide relief for due to COVID-19. (Black Press file)

North Okanagan regional district board delays food scraps ban

Move is to help businesses and organizations during pandemic

The Regional District of North Okanagan board of directors has delayed the implementation of the food scraps ban for industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) organizations by six months.

This is to provide relief to North Okanagan businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diverting food scraps from landfills has many positive outcomes for the environment, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and the generation of valuable resources, like compost, that can provide benefits for local communities. There are also opportunities for organizations to rethink their operations and find opportunities for cost savings in reducing the waste they generate.

However, diverting food scraps is no small undertaking for organizations.

The process involves getting staff involved at every level of the organization as well as investment in collection equipment and developing logistics for transporting or processing food scraps to be composted.

“While this is an important initiative to keep unnecessary waste out of our landfills, we acknowledge that businesses are facing complicated challenges from COVID-19,” said RDNO board chair, Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton. “We hope this will be one less thing to worry about in the short term as we all adjust to the new normal.”

Another factor that led to this decision is that outreach and engagement with the affected organizations is not possible with the COVID-19 restrictions.

In addition to current delays for the ICI Food Scraps Disposal Ban Implementation, it is well understood that many organizations are facing immense challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to these concerns, a six-month delay for the implementation plan and the expected initial enforcement period has been moved from July 1, 2021, to January 1, 2022.

READ MORE: North Okanagan businesses can have their say on food scrap diversion

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