Food Waste Curbside Collection Coming to Courtenay in 2023
November 3, 2022
Courtenay residents will soon have a new curbside collection service for food waste, such as banana peels, stale bread, meat scraps, and dirty pizza boxes, diverting them from garbage cans and extending the life of the Comox Valley’s landfill.
Starting January 2023, single-residential and duplex households may place food waste at the curb for composting along with their weekly yard waste through the City’s residential curbside collection service. The new “organics” service will also introduce a 360-litre weekly limit for combined total volume of yard waste and food waste. Should residents have an excess of 360 litres, they can drop off yard waste directly to the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, or to help determine what the best course of action is to reduce waste, use the Courtenay Collects app.
Residents may choose to either mix, or “co-mingle,” yard and food waste using existing collection cans or containers and yard waste bags, and/or set out an additional small container for kitchen waste collection. The new service will lower garbage volumes going to the regional Comox Valley Waste Management Centre in Cumberland, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Collected organics materials will be delivered to the new Campbell River Waste Management Centre regional organics facility currently under construction and expected to be completed in late 2022.
Mayor Bob Wells said the new program is an important step forward in supporting the environment and lowering long-term infrastructure costs. “Countless people have asked me over the years why Courtenay doesn’t have compost collection,” said Wells. “The City has long hoped to participate in a curbside organics program, but until now there simply hasn’t been a facility large enough to accommodate our population. We’re thrilled this new service will add much-needed resilience and longevity to the regional landfill. We hope our residents will take full advantage.”
Starting in the new year, weekly collection of co-mingled organics per household will be limited to 360 litres, weighing up to 20 kg or 44 lbs per container. With standard yard waste bags typically holding up to 115 litres, and regular garbage cans sized between 80 and 120 litres, each household may put out up to three or four cans or bags of organics weekly, depending on total volume for all containers.
The new weekly volume limits for the organics program will make the curbside service and associated costs of collection and tipping fees more equitable across Courtenay households with curbside collection, who all pay the same annual flat rate utility fee. The new limits will help reduce potential for collection delays during peak volume periods, delivering a more stable and reliable collection service at a level that is consistent with the majority of other jurisdictions across B.C. offering organics programs.
It is estimated that organics make up around 30 percent of materials disposed at the landfill. Courtenay anticipates the program could divert an additional 1200 tonnes of organics out of the landfill annually, roughly the weight equivalent to 44 grey whales, and instead convert it to nutrient-rich compost for agricultural and landscaping uses.
The addition of weekly curbside organics collection is an important step in the transition to the automated collection service that is coming to Courtenay and Comox in 2024. All households with curbside collection will receive three new carts for garbage, organics, and recycling prior to the launch of this new service.
For more information on the upcoming organics program, visit www.courtenay.ca/organics
To get reminders before collection day, updates on what’s happening, and opportunities to win prizes as the rollout of the new organics service approaches, download the Courtenay Collects app in the Google Play or Apple Store.