After a long summer of smoke, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is encouraging agricultural properties that are removing fruit trees and grape vines to grind rather than burn.
Stumps, trunks and vines tend to smoulder when burnt, sending off thick smoke which traps in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys creating problems for people with breathing difficulties, RDOS chair Karla Kozakevich said in a news release.
In Oliver, Penticton, Keremeos and surrounding rural areas, the RDOS will pay for 75 per cent of the cost of grinding onsite whole agricultural trees and vines. Growers can contact the Regional District for a free quote.
The chips will be left onsite as mulch. Agriculturists are asked to contact the RDOS by the end of October if they require chipping this year.
Agriculturists in the Oliver, Okanagan Falls, Keremeos and Campbell Mountain Landfill service areas can also contact the RDOS to bring agricultural trees, prunings and vines to local RDOS landfills. Materials will be ground and used at the landfill.
Anyone hauling in agricultural organic waste to a landfill can contact the RDOS to make an appointment to ensure everything goes smoothly.
The RDOS also works with agriculturists to dispose of agricultural plastics. In the past, farmers have burned ground cover plastic, plastic pipes and netting. These plastics can be accepted at RDOS landfills free of charge if the materials are bagged or bound appropriately. Information on how to package agricultural plastics for free disposal is available through the RDOS.
For more information on agricultural whole tree chipping and acceptance of materials at the Campbell Mountain, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Keremeos Landfills, contact the RDOS Solid Waste Division at 250-490-4129, e-mail email@example.com or visit the Air Quality page at www.rdos.bc.ca.