Communities throughout British Columbia will soon have projects underway to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and produce compost for residents.
New or expanded organic waste-processing facilities and organic collection programs are being funded under the Province’s CleanBC Organic Infrastructure and Collection Program.
“With the recent climate-related emergency events – from wildfires to flooding – people and communities are increasingly committed to reducing our carbon footprint,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “By diverting organic waste from landfills, these projects will reduce the release of methane greenhouse gases and remove an estimated one million tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent over 10 years.”
Launched in 2020, the program is providing as much as $25.9 million over three years to communities to develop or expand their ability to divert organic waste from landfills. Through cost-sharing arrangements, the funding recipients are contributing at least one-third of eligible project costs. Recipients include four First Nations communities.
With today’s announcement, 23 projects will receive almost $12.48 million from the Province. This includes six organics infrastructure projects and 17 collection programs. Additional projects are expected to come on board in the coming months. The initial projects are expected to break ground in the spring.
“These grants support the aims of local governments to divert organic waste from landfills and reduce GHG emissions from operations,” said Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, and City of Quesnel councillor. “The provincial funding of this program is greatly appreciated and will result in projects that will provide B.C. residents with lower carbon communities.”
Previously, the Province partnered with federal and local governments to fund the development of 14 composting facilities in B.C. communities through the $30-million Organics Infrastructure Program.
Investing in organic waste diversion is one part of a much bigger picture. CleanBC is the Province’s pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It supports government’s commitment to climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets and build a cleaner, stronger economy for everyone.
- Organic waste represents 40% of material sent to municipal landfills in B.C. and generates 3.5% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- It is estimated the projects announced Dec. 3 will result in a reduction of as much as 525,567 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent – a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints from different GHGs) over 10 years.
- It is estimated seven new jobs are created with every 1,000 tonnes of organics diverted from landfills.
- CleanBC is targeting a reduction of 0.7 megatonnes of GHGs by 2030 by diverting organics from the municipal, agricultural and industry sectors, converting organic waste into useful products and capturing methane to be used as a cleaner fuel source.
For more information on B.C.’s Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program, visit:
To learn more about CleanBC, visit: www.cleanbc.gov.bc.ca
A backgrounder follows.