After a successful pilot project, the City of Brandon is expanding its curbside organics program to include a total of 6,000 households.
The compost pilot project began in July 2010 with 500 residences, funded through the provincial government.
“We did it in various parts of the city so we could get a positive feeling for what sort of material was being composted,” said Ian Broome, the city’s director of public works. “With that information we went on to apply for a much larger grant to do a permanent status and add on upwards of 5,500 bins.”
New provincial funding for Brandon’s curbside composting was announced on Monday during the NDP government’s throne speech.
“By having the province giving us the money, we’re going large-scale,” Broome said.
The Wheat City has been composting at the landfill for more than 25 years.
“We’ve had depots for many years,” Broome said. “The next step in our waste-diversion tactics is curbside organics, making it easier for residents.”
The program will provide households with a green cart for curbside collection of household and organic material. Broome said the program is slated to begin in April. More than 300 households have already signed up, in addition to the 500 who were part of the pilot project and will continue.
“I’m pretty excited. Once again we are doing very well,” Broome said. “Residents of Brandon, when you come forward with this kind of stuff ... they’re really on board with it.”
The composting program will help the city divert more material from the landfill, and expand its lifespan.
“Our landfill is slated to be closed in 2042,” Broome said. “Based on 6,000 residents composting and the rates we got from our pilot project, we can exceed the life of our landfill by another six years, so 2048.”
“Back in 2000, the federal government stated that every town and municipality needs to have 50 per cent-plus diverted,” he said. “We’re sitting at roughly 43 per cent now. This should put us up and over the top.”
The bins will have a green lid, and will hold 96 gallons, the same as large garbage and recycling bins. They will be picked up on a weekly basis, if necessary.
To get involved in the composting program, contact the city’s sanitation department at 204-729-2281 or email email@example.com.