By Nicole Trigg
The community composting craze is finally catching on in the East Kootenay thanks to Groundswell and the regional district. Now, those of us who are avid recyclers, who flinch each time we see a plastic container or aluminum can in a garbage can, can rejoice at the fact that even more waste will be making its way into a more efficient disposal stream where it can be reused, instead of being rendered useless in a landfill.
Prior to moving to the Columbia Valley, I lived in Squamish and Whistler, communities that have huge community recycling depots, with large bins specifically designated for organic waste. After years and years of saving my food scraps and dropping them off along with the rest of my recycling, I found it really difficult to adapt back to throwing out my household food waste once I moved to Invermere. In fact, it became quite an inconvenience. Unable to have a personal composting bin on my rental properties, I was forced to throw organic waste into my garbage, which had a number of negative consequences. The size of my garbage grew, a lot. Whereas before, I maybe had one small bag of garbage every two weeks (keeping in mind I was also recycling plastics, glass, even styrofoam), now I was dealing with three to four times that. Then, I was forced to use bin liners to capture all the oozing, rotting mess of food going bad when you compost, your garbage is bone dry, free from any foul smells and doesnt require the additional waste of a plastic bag to line the can (using compostable bags as bin liners when you have food already composting in your garbage is a disaster). I find keeping a container for food scraps in the freezer is the best way to store compost until Im ready to drop it off. There are so many more benefits to composting I encourage as many people as possible to participate in the pilot program and discover them for themselves.