People in the Kitimat area will be able to take positive climate action by turning their food scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil.
The District of Kitimat will receive more than $910,000 to develop a new composting facility through the Organics Infrastructure Program, a joint funding program between the Province, the Government of Canada and local governments. The new facility will reduce waste, create local jobs and produce high-quality compost that improves soil health and food security.
“Every community plays an important role in addressing the climate crisis and keeping organic waste out of our landfills is one critical way we can reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We recognize that local governments need support to make this happen and that’s why we’re investing in the infrastructure needed to build a cleaner, better future.”
The new facility will process 1,500 tonnes of organic waste each year, resulting in a reduction of roughly 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Organic waste currently represents 40% of material sent to municipal landfills in B.C. and generates 3.5% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“By working with communities across Canada, such as the District of Kitimat, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building more resilient communities and creating jobs,” said Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Investing in better infrastructure for waste management will divert organic waste from landfills and turn it into clean and useful compost. This is a great example of leadership from the Kitimat community and how local climate action gets us closer to reaching our national emissions reduction goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Up to two-thirds of the eligible project costs will be covered by the provincial and federal governments, with the District of Kitimat funding the remaining costs. This funding will complement Kitimat’s recently launched residential organics collection program, which was funded in part by the Province.
“We are putting in the time, effort and funding needed to improve Kitimat’s waste-collection system,” said Phil Germuth, mayor of the District of Kitimat. “We’re excited to add a new composting facility, which will significantly reduce our landfill waste and further our climate-action goals.”
The Organics Infrastructure Program is a partnership between federal, provincial and local governments. The $30-million program combines as much as $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 supports the Province’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 climate plan to divert more organic waste from landfills and create a cleaner, better future for everyone. Since 2020, 16 recipients have received funding to expand their composting ability under the program. All projects must be complete and operational by March 31, 2024.
For more information about the Organics Infrastructure Program, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/food-and-organic-waste/organic-waste-diversion/organics-infrastructure-program