Pick up for organics beginning

As the new way of handling waste continues to evolve, local governments are now focussing on organics and material which can be composted.

Forceman Ridge project engineer Tony Sperling stands inside huge building in which organics are being taken.

As the new way of handling waste and recycling continues to evolve, local governments are now focussing on organics and material which can be composted.

Beginning Nov. 14, Thornhill and other rural residents have a weekly pickup of organics and compost provided they first purchase and use a rigid 99 litre garbage can and provided that what’s put in the can doesn’t exceed 50 pounds in weight, says Kitimat-Stikine regional district official Roger Tooms.

A maximum of two cans of this type will be picked up each week and six items in all. That means, for instance, a household can put out two cans and four kraft bags containing garden and yard waste.

Garbage will be picked up every second week and recyclables in the off weeks.

“We don’t feel the need to pick up [garbage] every week now because people will be taking the organics out of it,” said Tooms.

Within organics, a key point is that oiled paper products as well such as napkins used for dinner, can be included, he added.

If a pizza box has cheese stuck to it, it goes in organics, and tissue paper, paper towels and paper bags, said Tooms, adding that a clean pizza box can go into the recyclables bin.

Waxed cardboard also can go into the organics bin.

And food waste that can go into the organics bin includes more than just apple cores, it’s also dairy products, fruit and vegetable products, meats, bones, fish, noodles, egg shells – basically everything you scrape off your dinner plates, said Tooms.

While the regional district has started its organics collection this week, the city’s organics collection program, which is part of the overall waste program being run by the regional district, has been delayed.

Organics collection was to start this week but the containers in which the material will be placed have yet to arrive and be distributed.

The containers are the same size and shape as the ones now used for garbage and recycling which can be lifted up by mechanical arms extending from a city waste truck.

The containers are now expected to arrive in December or January with organics collection to start as soon as possible thereafter.

However, to accommodate the late arrival of the containers, the city will be continuing its curbside yard waste and kitchen scraps program every Monday for the rest of this year, said city official Brian Doddridge.

And there is no limit to the number of bags of yard waste and kitchen scraps that are put out on the curb each week, he added.

All of the compostable material is destined for a large shed-type building at the regional district’s new Forceman Ridge landfill where it’ll decompose.

But despite the new waste handling system, which took years to fully develop and which is costing $17 million, glass won’t be picked up.

Just as has been the case for several years now, residents will have to take their glass to the Do Your Part recycling depot in Thornhill.

Glass containers can break and the shards then be mixed up with other recyclables, something a province-wide program called Multi Materials BC doesn’t want, said city official Tara Irwin last week in a briefing to city council.

The city had been picking up glass on its own but stopped when it joined the provincial waste handling program.

People will also still have to take styrofoam, plastic film and bread bags to Do Your Part as well.