Oliver compost site still on track

Oliver compost site still on track

The regional district is hoping that a grant will help pay for a windrow composting site at the Oliver landfill. (File photo)

By Lyonel Doherty

While the regional district is moving ahead with a large, regional compost facility near Penticton, a smaller windrow site is still on track for Oliver.

Solid waste management coordinator Cameron Baughen said they are waiting the announcement of a potential grant for the Oliver site.

He noted that smaller windrow composting sites for residential food and yard waste is the plan for landfills in Oliver, Summerland and Princeton.

Baughen said these facilities will cost more than a million dollars to build, but he noted the sites will result in less trucking of waste.  It also keeps compost locally available for agriculturists and homeowners, he pointed out.

The coordinator stated the Oliver landfill could accept residential only food waste from Oliver, Osoyoos, Areas A and C, and the Osoyoos Indian Band.

As a point of interest, a new weigh scale is being constructed at the Oliver landfill.

Baughen said the larger, regional indoor facility the board is looking at is near Campbell Mountain Landfill in Penticton. This site would handle residential and commercial food waste from the region, including Oliver and Osoyoos.

Commercial food waste is very stinky as there is a lot of it and it is not mixed with yard waste, Baughen said.

“If we can find the right property, a centralized facility near Penticton has been found to be the most cost-effective way to handle the region’s commercial food waste and have the necessary odour control.”

A previous study identified Campbell Mountain Landfill as the preferred site over Okanagan Falls.

Baughen noted the price tag will be in the “tens of millions of dollars.” Total capital costs for the project are expected to be $17 million plus land costs.

If a grant application is successful, the regional district’s cost will be $3 million.

On Thursday, the board also voted to submit an application to the Agricultural Land Commission for the exclusion of lands required for the facility.

Regional board chair Karla Kozakevich said the facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nuisance odours.

The regional district reports that food waste and other organic material accounts for approximately 40 per cent of waste going to landfills.