New waste management system coming to Kitimat

The plan includes collecting yard waste, recycling, and kitchen waste to help reduce landfill usage

Kitimat will soon be introducing a new waste management system that will help reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill. (District of Kitimat photo)

Kitimat will soon be introducing a new waste management system that will help reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill. (District of Kitimat photo)

The District of Kitimat is putting together a new solid waste management management plan to bring the town towards a more sustainable, eco-friendly waste management system.

The Solid Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan, or the SWAP for short, is intended to be “a road map for bringing Kitimat’s waste management system into the 21st century,” the District said in a press release.

“Big changes are coming to our curbside waste collection service in 2021,” Kitimat mayor, Phil Germuth, said. “We are proposing adding yard waste collection in the spring, and in the fall, we are proposing adding recycling and kitchen waste collection. This should result in two-thirds less garbage coming from Kitimat homes. This means we can save landfill space for the future and have a positive impact on climate change now. We’re pretty pumped up about it.”

The Kitimat landfill needs to be upgraded to meet current environmental standards, Germuth said. He added that community surveys indicated that Kitimat residents are quite keen to have curbside recycling.

“We are proposing changes to how the traffic flows at the [landfill] site so that staff and the public are safe. We will be adding a vehicle scale so that we can measure what we are landfilling and recycling, and more fairly apply tipping fees. And, we are looking at what’s required to bring the landfill operation up to current provincial standards,” Germuth said. “What we are doing is modernizing how we dispose of waste in Kitimat.”

The District said they will be working with businesses and other groups and institutions in Kitimat that generate large volumes of food waste, including the camps and grocery stores, to get them to compost their food waste. Eventually, the District also said they intend to ban food waste, kitchen scraps included, from being disposed as garbage.

“As these system improvements are implemented, we will give folks a lot of advance notice,” Germuth said. “For the curbside program changes, there will be newsletters, drop-in events, and ads in the newspaper amongst other things. Of course, we will have all the information on our website too.”

Germuth said that he’s excited for what’s to come and that, ultimately the success of these system changes depends on everybody getting on board.

“We are investing in making our waste management system as good as it can be. We’re excited and we want the community to be excited about it too.”

For more information on the SWAP, contact Engineering Services at the District of Kitimat, at 250-632-8906 or at engineering@kitimat.ca.

READ MORE: Authorities urge residents to manage garbage and fish entrails after dispatching another bear



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