City and RDCK will collaborate on exploratory composting study
The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has agreed to help to fund the City of Nelson’s study into municipal composting, and they are also willing to have someone sit on a steering committee that will oversee the study.
“They were very receptive to the idea of Nelson moving ahead to better understand the background and options for composting,” said Councillor Donna Macdonald, who recently met with RDCK staff to discuss Nelson’s planned study.
At its May 10 meeting, city council voted in favour of allocating a maximum of $15,000 to an expert report on how composting might work in Nelson.
Mayor Dooley, city manager Kevin Cormack and Councillor Deb Kozak opposed the idea because they thought it would duplicate what the RDCK already plans to do and would amount to double spending.
“My sense was that the concerns raised by council are not obstacles,” Macdonald told The Nelson Daily after the meeting with the RDCK.
“Composting is on our radar,” says Raymond Gaudart, acting resource recovery manager at the RDCK. But he said the RDCK’s waste management time is taken up presently with two higher priorities: moving the transfer station from Nelson to Ootischenia and revamping recycling in accordance with new provincial procedures.
Gaudart agrees that it was a good idea for Nelson to move ahead with investigating composting as long as it continues to be seen as a regional endeavour like all waste management. “They need to be aware that they should not look at it as something that ends at city boundaries.”
Macdonald says the consultant’s report will help the city and the RDCK understand the volume and types of compostable material that could be generated in Nelson. She said it would look at “scales of composting, where and how it should be collected and handled— locally or at a centralized location.
“It would look at some new technologies and methods,” she said, “look at feedstock, are you going to include things like diapers and meat or just normal organics, look at what the market is like, and then look at how it fits with RDCK and the central waste region we are part of. It is a high level analysis.”
Gaudart told The Nelson Daily that the RDCK is already conducting a similar composting study in the Creston Valley. This fact was apparently unknown to Nelson’s mayor, council, and staff at the May 10 city council meeting since it did not come up in discussion then.
Macdonald says the request for proposals will be published by October.
Related stories in The Nelson Daily: