Courtenay residents included in the city’s residential curbside collection program can now participate in weekly food waste collection – a new service for the city – within the recently launched organics program. This new waste diversion opportunity is in part thanks to the completion of the new Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) Regional Compost Facility.
This new service allows for co-mingled yard and kitchen waste using existing collection cans or containers and yard waste bags. Residents can also set out an additional small container for food waste collection.
The program also introduces a 360-litre weekly limit for a combined total volume of yard and food waste. Should residents have an excess of 360 litres, they can drop off yard waste at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, or to help determine the best course of action to reduce waste, use the Courtenay Collects app.
By diverting organics and turning it into nutrient rich compost at the new regional facility, the new service will lower garbage volumes going to the landfill in Cumberland, thereby extending its lifespan, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Organics composting is essential for the CSWM service to manage solid waste cost effectively and to achieve the CSWM’s Solid Waste Management Plan waste diversion goals, and align with the province’s disposal target of 350 kilograms per person per year.
Mayor Bob Wells said the new organics program makes it possible for residents to divert waste from their garbage cans in a sustainable way.
“We’re incredibly excited that Courtenay can now participate in an organics program that converts food waste into compost for farming and landscaping,” he said. “All who participate in this new program are making a positive impact, and are helping to extend the life of the CSWM regional landfill.”
Organics are estimated to make up around 30 per cent of materials disposed at the landfill. The city anticipates the program could divert 1,200 tonnes of organics out of the landfill annually, roughly the weight equivalent to 44 grey whales.
The 360-litre limit to weekly organics collection is an important step in the transition to the automated collection service that is coming to Courtenay and Comox in 2024. All households with curbside collection will receive three new carts for garbage, organics and recycling prior to the launch of the new automated service.
For more information on the organics program, visit www.courtenay.ca/organics
To get reminders before collection day, updates on what’s happening, and opportunities to win prizes, download the Courtenay Collects app in the Google Play or Apple Store.