At a regular meeting of council earlier this month, it was decided to defer a decision on organic recycling until more information was available.
At their meeting on Monday, January 26, Kimberley council received a report on curbside organics collection and decided to apply for funding to buy the required collection carts and equipment, and a new garbage truck. If, and only if, all funding is received would council go ahead with a decision on implementation of an organics program.
The grant amounts would be $198,400 from CleanBC’s Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program to fund two thirds of the cost of the 120 litre organics collection carts and kitchen catchers; $99,200 from the RDEK from their Central Solid Waste Diversionary Reserve to fund the other one third of the carts; and $350,000 from that same reserve to fund the purchase of a new automated collection truck.
Coun. Kent Goodwin said he had been wrestling with what to do for the past two weeks.
“I’ve warmed up to it a bit,” he said. “But I’m still not sure where to go. There’s a grant opportunity but there will be challenges with implementation.”
Goodwin said he was in favour of going forward if all the funding came through, including for the truck.
Count. Jason McBain said he wished there was an option for people to opt out of the program, because he didn’t think everyone would use it.
Mayor Don McCormick said he had doubts, and in fact voted against applying for the grants.
“At the highest level I’m concerned about the business case,” he said. “There are a lot of assumptions being made. There is also the path to implementation. We have a lot of work underway. The recycling program is being implemented. Two major implementations so close to one another concerns me. Another concern is the impact of going to bi-weekly garbage collection.”
If the organic program goes ahead, there would be weekly pick up but garbage pick up would go to once every two weeks.
Nik Morissette, who has taken the lead on planning the organics program for the city, said that the grants would allow for implementation up to 2024, so they could look at a summer of 2023 roll out. He also said that in the future waste diversion of this type may be mandated and there may not be granting opportunities at that time.
Council voted to go ahead with the grant applications with McCormick the only no vote.