On October 1st, 2016 a new Community Organics Recovery Exchange (C.O.R.E.) pilot program was launched and made available to all residents and businesses. Food scraps and yard waste can be dropped off for FREE at two locations. Smaller household loads (under 50 Litres or 20 pounds) can be brought to the Town Centre Recycling Depot (in the parking lot in between Rona and the thrift stores) Monday thru Saturday, 8am to 5:30pm. Larger loads can be delivered to Sunshine Disposal and Recycling (4484 Franklin Ave.) Wednesday and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm only. Note: maximum load size is 2 yards.
A pilot program for residential curbside food scraps and yard waste collection began in 2017 with 400 homes in areas around the city selected for pick up. This coincided with the City of Powell River’s purchase of two automated arm collection trucks. If successful, the curbside program will ultimately to a City-wide curbside collection.
Reasons to divert
The average household trash can is generally made up of 40% compostable material. This includes food scraps and food-soiled paper. In Powell River, compostable items (food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste with limbs under one inch) and recyclables, can now be dropped off at specialized collection depots free of charge.
When compostable items (food scraps, yard waste, etc.) are placed in a landfill, covered with soil and compacted; this environment that is now void of oxygen, causes compostable items to release methane gas. Methane gas is notably more harmful than carbon dioxide emissions. When these items are composted, methane is not created or released. Currently, Powell River’s trash is sent to the Rabanco landfill in southern Washington State. Avoiding this approximately 770km one-way journey also helps to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Why no compostable/biodegradable bags?
Compostable/biodegradable products are not of consistent quality, meaning they do not all fully breakdown. The composting facility that Powell River is using to process its collection does not accept plastic bags of any type as they compromise the quality of the finished compost and may get caught up in processing machinery. Bag-To-Earth lined paper bags are the only “leak-proof” bags accepted and can be found in many local retail outlets. Lining your bin (kitchen and storage container) will help absorb liquid and prevent materials from sticking, keeping your bin cleaner. You can line your bin with scrap paper, paper towels, newspaper, unwaxed cardboard or with purchased Bag-To-Earth bags. Learn how to make a newspaper origami kitchen catcher liner and say good-bye to your need for plastic bag liners.
For a quick de-odourizing wash, rinse bins once emptied with a vinegar and water solution. Looking for a kitchen food scraps container? Think reuse and look for something in your recycling collection, at the thrift store or the recycling depot. Remember, metal or glass containers absorb less odours than plastic.