Skip to content

Directors appoint composting committee members

Group will advise elected officials on options

by Laura Walz Powell River Regional District directors recently appointed members of a Composting Advisory Select Committee.

Directors approved the terms of reference for the committee in April. The committee’s purpose is to make recommendations to the regional board on technically and economically viable options for providing fully or partially centralized composting in the regional district, excluding Lasqueti Island

Committee members are: Diana Wood, Lauritz Chambers and Ronnie Uhlmann, who all served on the solid waste management plan advisory committee; Jason Dunkley and Aaron Mazurek, community members; Tor Birtig, from the City of Powell River; Sarah Barkowski, from Catalyst Paper Corporation; and a representative from Quality Foods in Powell River, who has not yet been named. Dave Murphy, Texada Island director, and Sean McGinn, manager of community services, were also appointed to the committee. Mazurek was chosen to

chair the committee.

In June, the regional board approved the final version of the solid waste management plan, which had been undergoing review since 2008. It was then submitted to BC’s ministry of environment for final approval. Mac Fraser, the regional district’s chief administrative officer, said the regional district hasn’t heard from the province yet. “We’ve made sure that they are still working on it, but we haven’t got any word back,” he said.

The solid waste management plan emphasizes composting as a way to reduce the amount of waste requiring disposal and, at the same time, create a beneficial product. It recommends investigating centralized composting as a way to handle compostable waste that home composting cannot accommodate, such as from commercial operations, institutions and multi-family properties, and from households that are unable or unwilling to compost at home.

The plan recommends a two-phased approach to composting. Phase one would focus on home composting and phase two would be the development of centralized composting capacity, should that prove feasible.

The composting committee will look into centralized or community composting options and determine which warrant further consideration in Powell River. It will investigate composting operations in other comparable communities and identify problems associated with the ongoing operation of those systems. The committee will also consider collection system requirements and cost implications.

Meanwhile, the regional district has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a feasibility analysis on an organics processing facility. The intent of the feasibility analysis is to produce a report with recommendations on the viability of a facility, the technologies best suited for the area and site selection.

The deadline for proposals is 4 pm on Thursday, January 5, 2012. More information about the RFP can be found on the regional district’s website.