Sylvan to convert food waste to compost

Sylvan Lake’s latest green initiative may divert more than 160 tonnes of food scraps from the landfill this year.

Sylvan Lake’s latest green initiative may divert more than 160 tonnes of food scraps from the landfill this year.

The town began its seven-month kitchen waste collection pilot project this week.

“It’s quite an easy way for residents to reduce the carbon footprint that we have,” said John Watson, public works manager.

Waste gathered from the curb side every Monday until Oct. 31 will be transferred to the Composting Technology Centre at Olds College. The nutrient-rich compost produced at the facility is then sold back to the community to nourish lawns, flower beds and vegetable gardens.

“It’s a true evolution of recycling,” Watson said.

The kitchen waste pilot is running in conjunction with the town’s yard waste collection program.

Watson believes residents will be just as eager to keep their unwanted food out of the trash as they are with their leaves, grass clippings and garden waste.

“The yard waste collection program was quite successful right from the start and the public from this town is very receptive to green initiatives. We anticipate similar success with the kitchen waste program.”

The kitchen and yard waste program got off to a slow start with only 16 collections on Monday, but Watson figured weather was a factor.

The yard waste program has been operating for five years and Watson said there are typically 600 to 800 collections each week.

The town hopes to divert up to 500 tonnes from the landfill between now and Halloween. A third of this is expected to be kitchen waste, Watson said.

Residents are responsible for their own containers as the town is trying to keep the cost of the pilot project to a minimum.

Acceptable bins must be animal proof with a tight-fitting lid and be no larger than 100 litres. Labels must be placed on containers and are available at the Town Office or the Public Works Office.

Food items that can be put in the bin include meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and coffee grounds.

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