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City of Nelson researches new organics program

The City of Nelson is rolling out its pilot program to divert food waste from the landfill and convert it into a soil additive for household use. 

Council initiated the program in 2019 by looking for alternatives to traditional curbside collection, but also to consider a method which would work in conjunction with the RDCK regional organics program due to start this year.

Climate programs coordinator Emily Mask says they are in the research phase of the pilot program and they are looking for residents to adopt it for this phase. 

“The pilot neighborhood was chosen to be Fairview, because it was the perfect size for us to study,” Mask says. “They had quite a few bear attractions, so we would like to measure the impacts on that while looking to see how much of a reduction in waste occurs.

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“We will be asking residents to participate in the program, and we will be studying how it works.”

According to Mask, residents who participate in the program will get a piece of equipment, which is no larger than a bread maker, that will reduce food waste significantly and residents can decide what to do with it.

“The appliance can go in either the kitchen, or the garage. It will dehydrate and shred waste by up to 90 per cent,” she says. “After six hours waste will be relatively odorless and can be sent to the Central Compost Facility, or used in a garden.

“Waste can be stored for up to three months in this condition.”

Mask says residents who take part in the pilot project will not have to endure costs to participate, but after research is gathered and tweaks are made it could change. 

“There is no sign up cost, but there is a limited amount of products for the trial period,” she says. “Once we evaluate the program and sign on to a city-wide program it could open up and change.

“Right now there is no additional fee to renters and homeowners.” 

For more information on the organics diversion program, or to enroll, visit the city’s website.

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