People in the Squamish-Lillooet region will be able to grow their record of success, making sure more organics are turned into nutrient-rich soils, not landfill waste.
The federal, provincial and regional governments are announcing a $1.3-million expansion of the Sea to Sky Soils composting facility to increase organics processing, produce more high-quality compost, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and creating local jobs.
“One of the most important things people can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to divert organic waste from going into landfills,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “These investments significantly reduce the release of methane greenhouse gases and create benefits for future food production and opportunities for agricultural communities – an important part of our economic recovery.”
Sea to Sky Soils and Composting Inc., located in Pemberton, has been operating at capacity and needs to expand to accept additional organic waste. Sea to Sky Soils produces compost and soil amendments for local farmers and residents in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD), increasing local food security and reducing the need to import compost from other sources.
“Our community is growing, and the residents in our region are very keen to support environmental sustainability and to be able to access local compost and soil,” said Tony Rainbow, board chair, SLRD. “The demand is outstripping what Sea to Sky Soils can both take in and produce, so this expansion is a very welcome project. The SLRD is pleased to be able to partner with Sea to Sky Soils in this program for the benefit of our region.”
The Sea to Sky project builds on the 12 organics infrastructure projects announced to date. This will lead to a reduction of nearly 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, comparable to removing 100,000 cars from the roads for a year. Organic waste represents 40% of material sent to municipal landfills in B.C. and generates 7.5% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“I am pleased to see the Sea to Sky Soils composting facility working to reduce emissions, divert waste from landfills, and produce clean and useful compost right here in our community,” said Patrick Weiler, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of Jonathan Wilkinson, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “The Government of Canada continues to work closely with the provinces and territories to support good projects, such as this one, that help us in the transition to a low-carbon economy. By working together, we can ensure a greener, more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.”
In 2018, the Province launched the Organics Infrastructure Program, in partnership with federal and local governments, to reduce greenhouse gases and ensure B.C. communities are clean and healthy places to live. The $30-million program combines up to $10 million in federal funding from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, $10 million from the Province and $10 million in matching funds from local government applicants and their partners.
The program is helping communities throughout B.C. expand their infrastructure and divert organic waste away from landfills. It is also helping the Province meet its CleanBC commitment to help communities achieve 95% organic waste diversion for agricultural, industrial and municipal waste.
CleanBC is the province's pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.'s emission targets.
- The total project value is $1,311,800 and includes a provincial contribution of up to $437,266 (33.33%), a federal contribution of up to $327,950 (25%) and a regional district contribution of $546,584 (41.67%).
- The project is estimated to result in a reduction of over 47,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent – a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints from different greenhouse gases) by 2030. This is the same as removing nearly 17,000 cars from the road for one year.
- The project is also expected to provide employment opportunities for local First Nations.
- The Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund is part of Canada’s climate action plan, and helps put Canada on a path to exceed the Paris Agreement target for 2030.
For more information on the Organics Infrastructure Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/food-and-organic- waste/organic-waste-diversion/organics-infrastructure-program