The municipality of Summerland has opened a new organics processing facility at the Summerland Landfill.
The facility, which opened on Sept. 29, will process all of Summerland’s yard and wood waste, agricultural organics, wastewater treatment sludge and residential food waste.
“By working with communities across Canada such as the District of Summerland, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building more resilient communities, and creating jobs,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “The new organic processing facility is an example of the leadership from the Summerland community, and how local climate action gets us closer to reaching our national emissions reduction goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”
The federal-provincial Organics Infrastructure Program – Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund contributed two-thirds of the cost of the project to a maximum of $1,581,000, with one-third coming from the province and one-third from the federal government.
The municipality was responsible for the remaining third, or around $800,000.
The program has provided $30 million for projects across British Columbia that supported increased organic waste processing capacity and the reduction of organic waste going to landfills.
“People want and deserve solutions that help address our changing climate. With our investment in new compost facilities across the province, communities like Summerland can turn their food waste into beneficial compost. This will keep organic waste out of their landfill and reduce greenhouse gas pollution to build a healthier, more resilient future,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
For decades, Summerland has operated a composting program at the landfill for wastewater treatment plant sludge and yard waste.
Changes in provincial regulations have required the municipality to upgrade the composting system. New technologies have allowed for the safe composting of materials such as residential food waste.
“These improvements support the environment and our bottom line,” said Mayor Doug Holmes. “Diverting organic waste from the landfill extends the life of our landfill for many years, and at the same time it reduces methane production at the landfill which is a greenhouse gas even more problematic than carbon dioxide. Instead, we end up with certifiable compost which can be sold, reused, and supports local food production right where we live.”
The program will also allow the municipality to start collecting food waste from homes in the spring of 2024.
Food waste collection from homes has the potential to divert more than 500 tonnes of materials from being landfilled each year.