RDN to receive $3 million grant to support increased organics waste diversion

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The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has been approved for a provincial grant of $3 million to upgrade its regional landfill.

The upgrade will help the RDN reach its goal of 90 per cent diversion of waste from the landfill by 2030 by increasing organic waste processing capacity in the region, according to a release from the regional district.

“We are grateful to receive the generous grant from the Province of British Columbia for the facility upgrade. The project is a great example of government working with the private sector to create opportunities for investment in much needed regional infrastructure,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair.

The estimated $13.56 million project will improve the facility’s process control, as well as increase the capacity from 20,000 tonnes to 58,000 tonnes per year, according to the RDN.

The RDN said the upgrade and expansion are necessary to ensure there is local capacity for managing this increase in organic waste diversion. 

Other benefits that will be realized through this upgrade project include:

-Improved odour control through a fully contained organics processing system;

-More efficient compost processing resulting from technology upgrades;

-Higher quality of compost for end use such as application on farmland;

-Reduced greenhouse gases due to more organics being properly composted;

-Prolonged life of the regional landfill.

Through a 20 year contract with Convertus Group North America, who owns and operates the facility, the RDN is guaranteed processing for organic waste collected in the region. The organic waste will include food and yard waste from the City of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Electoral Areas A, B, C, E, F, G, H and Snaw-Naw-As First Nation.

The provincial funding comes from CleanBC – Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program, according to the release. 

The RDN said it has one of the highest waste diversion rates in the world and the rate will increase once the Mandatory Waste Source Separation and Waste Hauler Licensing bylaws are in place. 

The Mandatory Waste Source Separation bylaw will require a three-stream system of recyclables, organics and garbage for all businesses and multi-family dwellings. The Waste Hauler Licensing bylaw will incentivize RDN licensed haulers through lower tipping fees and other mechanisms to divert as much recyclable and compostable material from the landfill as possible. 

The upgrades are currently underway and are scheduled to be completed by spring 2022. 

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