A proposal by City of Nelson staff asking City Council to either entertain or outright reject the idea of a centralized composting facility and compost pick-up will be tabled at the August 14th meeting of City Council. EarthMatters drafted the following letter as a comment on the proposal.
A link to the proposal follows the letter.
This is to just forward some thoughts on the proposal from the City regarding composting, to be tabled August 14th:
1. The proposal background is cursory regarding both costing and options for carrying out a municipal composting process.
2. The RDCK is just beginning the process of creating a strategy for organics diversion.
Given these two things, I think it is problematic to present Council with an option to reject at this stage based on the materials presented. The City should look closely at the RDCK organics diversion plan, which will evolve over coming months. The document presented is little more than a draft for discussion (for example, the draft is not yet costed in any manner). The City should also be directed to do much more in depth work looking at options for the City, and what they would cost, in concert with the RDCK process. For example, a split truck could be used (alternating between compost and recyclables) with an aftermarket manual/automatic hybrid bin lifter (something which is common practice). This option, which incorporates some of the existing infrastructure and also addresses some accessibility issues outlined in the report, was not explored.
Also, regarding the suggestion that the City promote the RDCK survey, note that it has been closed for over a month, and also contains limited questioning regarding organics diversion specifically. However, there will be a program of consultation and engagement associated with the roll-out of the draft organics recovery plan. The City has a great opportunity to be a part of this process.
I think coming to a reject decision at this time, and based on this report, would be, at very least, premature.