The city will not be moving forward with a proposed composting pilot project. 

Last September Food Cycle Science, an Ottawa-based company, proposed to council a city pilot program to sell its FoodCycler, a powered composter, at a subsidized rate to residents. 

Last Tuesday (March 5), the Operational Services Committee accepted a report on the program for information.

“Within Grande Prairie, food waste is handled through Aquatera’s solid waste management system; they operate a bioreactor landfill which enables methane gas production that’s used to help run their nearby facilities,” said Kase DeVries, city director of Environment & Parks. 

He said Aquatera is waiting for the results of a feasibility study on curbside food waste options for residents. 

DeVries said other city composting programs include vermicomposting, which is the process of composting using red wiggler worms taught in local schools and at community organizations through the city department of Environment & Parks. He said the department also occasionally offers sessions to the public for $20, including a composting bin with soil and worms.

DeVries said the Food Cycler program is “favoured by municipalities that are either dealing with existing capacity constraints at their landfill or favoured by municipalities that do not have a landfill and must pay to transport waste away from their communities.” 

The District of Tumbler Ridge used the program last year and subsidized 130 FoodCyclers for its residents. After its pilot there, Food Cycle Science says about 33.3 metric tonnes of food waste was diverted from the landfill for the year from the 130 FoodCyclers.

Tumbler Ridge trucks its waste to the Bessborough Landfill near Dawson Creek.

According to Tumbler Ridgelines in December, “‘the program cost the district $13,000. 

“It is hoped that by reducing food waste, transfer fees will go down by diverting waste,’ says acting CAO Aleen Torraville.

“The cost is approximately $180/tonne to transfer to landfill.”

City Coun. Chris Theissen said the city’s vermicomposting program “ is already a subsidized way for people to get involved into creating healthy soils for themselves through composting.”

He noted the city already has composting programs in place, so he felt comfortable with not moving forward with Food Cycle Science’s request.

The city report also says other similar products to the FoodCycler are available at local retailers, making a direct award of the product potentially go against city purchasing policies and trade agreements. 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 14, 2024 at 08:48

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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