Vernon compost program so successful it was cut short

Funds ran out quickly for pilot project due to high demand and increased pickups

The City of Vernon did not anticipate how successful its organics collection pilot program would be when it launched over the summer with a budget of $5,000, but due to high demand, the program ran out of cash quickly.

“The city estimated the bins would need to be emptied approximately once per week, which would mean the pilot should have lasted about a year,” city communications manager Christy Poirier said. “However, with very little advertising and a lot of word of mouth, the program took off in a way we didn’t anticipate.”

The project’s $5,000 budget was funded through the Climate Action Revolving Fund.

“Collection from the bins had to be increased, which used the funds faster and shortened the length of time the pilot could operate (by about half),” she said.

The program began with two organics collection bins placed behind City Hall and the Schubert Centre with materials being collected twice a week by Spa Hills Compost. More than 232,000 pounds of food waste was diverted from the landfill in that time, the company said.

The food waste collected from businesses and homes is transformed into chemical-free fertilizer by Spa Hills Compost and used to farm the land where it grows wheat, corn and crops to feed livestock. Finished compost is also sold by Spa Hills Compost.

“We could say it’s a good problem to have,” Poirier said. “It shows community members were pleased with the program and the option to compost, diverting organic materials away from the landfill.”

The program is coming to an end on Nov. 4 and the city is seeking input and gathering data so “future recommendations can be developed,” Poirier said.

A survey is now open at engagevernon.ca and consists of six questions geared toward how often people used the bins and other composting options they would like to see in Vernon.

READ MORE: Composting survey now open to Vernon residents

READ MORE: 32 parking stalls pitched in 48-unit Vernon housing project


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Don’t take hair into your own hands, urge Okanagan stylists

New Vernon shop expects high demand come May, since opening delayed

Virtual physio connects patients with Vernon practitioners

Many local physiotherapists are ready to assist, online

Burning permits doused in pair of North Okanagan electoral areas

Regional District of North Okanagan Areas B and C cancel permits to combat COVID-19 virus

Vernon, Kelowna denturists hit hard amid COVID-19

Okanagan denture clinics wonders if they’ll ever be able sustain the sting of pandemic

No need to press the walk button at Vernon crosswalks

City automating intersections in response to COVID-19

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

COLUMN: Plenty of online reading options

Libraries are closed due to COVID-19 but downloads are available through Okanagan Regional Library

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read