Through the RDEK Energy Manager position, CEA is leading the East Kootenay Organics Infrastructure Program, a collaboration with municipal partners throughout the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK). The aim of the program is to recover a significant portion of compostable organic resources in the East Kootenay via optimized, scalable, aerated windrow composting at facilities located in each of three sub-regions: Columbia Valley, Central Sub-Region and the Elk Valley.
The goal is to support communities in the RDEK to embrace the Integrated Resource Recovery approach, working toward viewing waste as a valuable resource that supports other local priorities, such as GHG emissions reduction, food security, pesticide-free turf management and responsible disposal of carcass and hunting waste. This means supporting and empowering communities to take ownership of their waste.
Unique to other approaches to composting in the Province (typically owned and managed at a regional scale), the East Kootenay approach will transfer the ownership locally, ensuring opportunity to maximize local benefit. Invermere, for example, will be addressing a backlog of biosolids, and using the output to continue to meet their Pesticide Free commitments through enhanced turf management.
Assuming a conservative initial capture rate of 50% of the available compostable organics from each of our primary organics collecting communities (Invermere, Kimberley and Fernie), this capital infrastructure project will:
- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through aerobic composting (conservatively estimated over the 20 year life of the project to be a CO2 equivalent of 42 563 T from the Elk Valley, 13 539 T from the Columbia Valley, and 25 442 T from the Central Sub-Region for a total of 81 544 T)
- Reduce GHG emissions and costs of waste transportation, through sub-regional collection and processing of organic resources (conservatively estimated, over the 20 year lifespan of the project to be a CO2 equivalent of 40 T for the Elk Valley, 340 T for the Columbia Valley and 60 T for Central Sub-Region for a total of 440 T), thereby measurably contributing to community and regional climate action goals and commitments
- Further reduce GHG emissions via improved soil health and carbon sequestration capacity in any growing system (turf, landscaping, reclamation) where the quality compost end product is applied
- Extend the life of our regional landfills and reduce leachate contamination issues
- Maximize local co-benefits by creating green jobs and recovering safe, valuable, Class A compost for use in municipal landscaping, in regional land reclamation or landfill capping
- Address human/wildlife conflict by more effectively, responsibly managing carcasses (from roadkill, hunting residuals, and agricultural by-product) as well as excess residential tree-fruit,
- Provide a solution to the region-wide problem of biosolids management, which are currently stockpiled and transported long distances due to lack of processing capacity.
For more information about the Organics Infrastructure Program, please contact Gaëtane Carignan, Community Energy Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org )