Josh Mitchell of Spa Hills Farm (left), Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming, Mary Stockdale, Emterra vice president Nevil Davies and Emterra operations manager Richard Andersen met at the Vernon council chambers ahead of the launch of Vernon’s residential curbside organics collection program on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Josh Mitchell of Spa Hills Farm (left), Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming, Mary Stockdale, Emterra vice president Nevil Davies and Emterra operations manager Richard Andersen met at the Vernon council chambers ahead of the launch of Vernon’s residential curbside organics collection program on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vernon’s curbside organics collection program ready for May launch

New organics bins and program information are being distributed throughout the city

Beginning in the first week of May, residents will have their household organics collected curbside.

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming unveiled the new 120-litre organics collection carts Tuesday, April 5 at city hall.

Distribution of the bins started April 4 in the Foothills area and will continue throughout the city for the next four weeks. The bins feature a green lid and come with a smaller bin for the kitchen and a guide with information on the program inside.

“Collecting organics from the residential sector and diverting them from the landfill adds to the list of achievements our community is making as part of our Climate Action Plan implementation,” Cumming said.

Mary Stockdale, co-chair of Vernon’s Climate Action Advisory Committee, said food scraps and organic yard waste that go to the landfill account for seven per cent of Vernon’s greenhouse gas emissions, the city’s third largest source of these emissions.

With the program’s launch, she said the city has done its part to reduce emissions that come from organics; now it’s residents’ turn to use the bins.

“Our community is going to be able to step up and do our part to reduce these emissions simply by choosing to use these new carts to compost household organics materials,” Stockdale said.

The city received provincial support for the program through CleanBC, which funded up to 66 per cent of the $1.4 million project, to the tune of about $937,000.

“We all want to do our part to reduce our waste and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee, in a press release. “And one of the opportunities we have to do that is by composting. I’m so grateful to the City of Vernon for taking on this project and helping everyone in our community do their part to fight climate change.”

Cumming said the 120 litre bins were the smallest possible size while still being compatible with the robotic arms used to transfer waste from bins to trucks.

With the arrival of the organics program, the garbage collection schedule in Vernon will switch to once every second week. Organics will be collected every week.

Residents will have a new collection schedule to heed. Residents can look in their provided collection guide, or visit vernon.ca/collectionschedule, to view a map that will help determine which days their garbage and organics carts will be collected beginning May 2.

The guide also has instructions for how to use the new organics carts, and how to properly place them at the curb (park it with wheels against the curb or just off the roadway; point the front of the cart to the centre of the road; and space it at least an arm’s length away from other objects).

A larger 240-litre bin was also made available by request for residents who anticipated needing one. Just over 950 residents requested a larger bin out of 14,000 properties in the city.

For residents who won’t be using the bins, city communications manager Christy Poirier said council has approved continuing the community organics program using one of the large metal bins instead of four. The bin will be located at the recreation complex on 39th Avenue, at the parking lot going into the auditorium.

Starting May 1, Emterra Environmental Group wil ltake over collecting residential organics every week and garbage every other week.

“Emterra has long been a proponent of recovering resources from our waste to contribute to a more sustainable future,” said Nevil Davies, Emterra’s vice president of collection operations in B.C. “We are excited to be on the team that is helping Vernon residents make the organics collection program a success from the start.”

READ MORE: Vernon garbage collection going bi-weekly once curbside organics program starts

READ MORE: Vernon organics business looks to harvest Dragon’s Den dollars


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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