The town council is considering curbside compost pick-up as an option for waste collection in the Lake Cowichan area. The program would coincide with the recycling and garbage collection’s regular route.
Compost pick-up programs have been embraced by residents in other Vancouver Island communities. In Nanaimo more than 90% of multi-family developments are participating in their compost program. And in Duncan, a city aiming to have zero-waste, it is estimated that compost collection will reduce household waste by 30 to 35 per cent on average.
The Lake Cowichan town council is currently looking for the “best and most efficient way to process the material.” Whether they will purchase a truck to do the collection, create a composting facility and creating more jobs for local residents, or contracting the services out, is still up for debate.
Other than reducing household waste, composting has a number of other benefits as well. It’s also a low cost alternative to store bought soil. It aids in weed control and has even been used for the restoration of wetlands therefore encouraging the re-growth of native plant species. Compost provides greater drought resistance and more efficient water utilization so accordingly reducing the amount of watering needed for gardens and lawns.
Composting has been proven to prevent pollutants in storm water runoff — it’s an erosion deterrent. As composting becomes more popular, it seems that it’s an idea that can’t simply be tossed away.