Statement to the Special Committee of the Whole, City of Nelson, Jan 30, 2018

The following was stated at the Special Committee of the Whole meeting in Nelson City Council Chambers on Jan 30, 2018 by Bruce Edson.

The last City Council and administration had a plan and trajectory regarding waste issues. This was to get curbside recycling pickup implemented, move the transfer station to Grohman Narrows, and then look at composting pickup. Even though the RDCK has moved forward with a regional composting strategy, it appears no progress has been made by this Council as it nears the end of its mandate.

Well over a year ago I came before City Council to present the a survey that showed support for municipal composting, as well as ask the City to provide adequate resources to become engaged in the regional planning process. I do not think there has been much activity within the city regarding composting since then, other than a brief report by city staff that mostly asked questions.

Since then, the RDCK has crafted a draft plan that they want to move on, and have an established timeline to this effect.

I have now heard, though, that the city is considering a composting ambassador position of some kind. This is the same thing that EarthMatters proposed this year, but did not receive funding from the city for. The point of this project was to work within the community to raise awareness of composting related issues while the city and the RDCK moved forward with planning regrading a regional composting facility.

Now, if the city were to consider to run such an initiative on its own, the optics would be that it is more of a substitute for planning activities related to municipal composting, rather than something that would complement them.

I think that, at this time,  the city would be better served to devote resources to planning activities for a regionally integrated service than to spend money promoting backyard composting.

Since there appears to be little planning activities related to a regional composting facility that have happened up until now, it seems to me this council intends to kick the composting can down the road to the next council. I’d be happy to hear comment from any Councillors on both the idea of a composting ambassador and if they plan to make any progress on regional composting before the municipal election.