Don't toss organics, compost organics
What percentage of curbside garbage collected in the Okanagan Valley is organic material?
The answer is, a whopping 30%! Organic waste makes up the largest segment of curbside garbage collected in the Okanagan Valley. Organic waste that ends up in the landfill, amongst other garbage, is compressed, squeezing out the oxygen to make room for more garbage. In this environment decomposition happens at a slow rate, when garbage starts to decompose it produces methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas, contributing to climate change. The nutrients from the organic material are also lost. However, there is an option to save these organics from a dreadful demise in the landfill, help combat climate change, and improve the soil of your garden Rot or compost organic waste! Rot is the final "R" in the Zero-waste hierarchy, also known as composting, by composting organic waste we allow it to decompose naturally and can reap all of the natural benefits.
Lucky for those in the Okanagan, there are plenty of local composting services making it simple for you to reduce organic waste:
You also have the option to lead your own composting at home, and it can be fun and easy:
Backyard composting - many of us are familiar with black backyard compost bins, you can also heap your compost.
Food Digesters - food-waste digester accepts household kitchen waste and leftovers, including raw and cooked meat, and bone. They can even process pet waste! The solar food waste digester's solar decomposition process expedites the breakdown of organic waste and allows for the matter to disappear into the soil while fertilizing the surrounding soil. There are a variety available online, one option is the Algreen Solar Waste Disposer.
Worm or Vermi Composting - great composting option for apartments or spaces without yards. Red wiggler worms are what you'll need, information and starter kits are available through Briteland in Vernon, and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen also has a great resource to learn more.
Grasscycling, where cut grass decomposes on your lawn, is also a method of composting which reduces waste. It is the simplest and most effective way to dispose of grass clippings. The Regional District of North Okanagan provides some helpful tips for successful grasscycling.