By Kim Westad, Victoria Times Colonist, April 12, 2012
Kitchen scraps will be banned from the Hartland landfill in less than three years, giving regional municipalities time to sort out how – or if – they should pick up organic waste along with garbage.
The scraps, including meat, bones, grains, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, fruits and soiled paper products, won’t be allowed at the landfill as of Jan. 1, 2015.
A phased-in ban that begins with incentives and surcharges was approved unanimously by the Capital Regional District Board Wednesday.
In 2013 and 2014, kitchenscrap loads delivered to a CRD-approved transfer station or composting facility will be eligible for a $20-per-tonne rebate. As well, in 2014, garbage loads taken to the Hartland landfill containing kitchen scraps will be subject to a 20 per cent surcharge.
Several municipalities already provide kitchen waste pickup, including View Royal and parts of Oak Bay. Saanich has a pilot project underway.
The scraps are collected by a private company and processed at private composting facilities. There are no regional or municipal processing facilities in Greater Victoria.
Banning kitchen scraps is seen as a way to buy at least another five years of life for the region’s only landfill. Since the scraps make up 30 per cent of the landfill’s waste, banning them will go a long way toward reaching the CRD’s goal of diverting 70 per cent of all waste by 2015.
The CRD originally planned to ban kitchen scraps by next month, suggesting that organic waste be collected much the same as recyclables in the regional blue box program. But municipalities expressed concerns about costs, methods and who would do the pickup, and some were interested in providing the service themselves.
The program is expected to cost about $3.2 million by 2015 in reduced tipping fees at Hartland landfill.
Tipping fees, the amount paid by people who use the landfill, are a major source of revenue.
CRD chairman Geoff Young said dealing with kitchen waste is a lot cheaper than finding a $50-million successor to Hartland, which is expected to reach capacity in 2035.
Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt suggested that a single processing plant for scraps be considered at Hartland, while Central Saanich Mayor Alastair Bryson said the organic compost created from kitchen scraps could be put to good use on local farmland.
CRD staff estimate that 30,000 tonnes of processed kitchen scraps would generate 17,000 tonnes of finished compost – enough to fertilize 416 hectares or 10 per cent of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve on the Saanich Peninsula.