Town of Lake Cowichan considers investing in eco-friendly BIOvator for waste consumption

BIOvator: Cylindrical machine converts organic waste to compost

The Town of Lake Cowichan is set to ponder investing in a new form of green technology that converts organic waste into compost.

The BIOvator is a cylindrical metal machine which can take up to 500 pounds of waste a day and has a 25 to 30 year lifespan.

After the waste is loaded into the machine and covered with some kind of carbon product, in just over a week that waste is converted into compost.

“It’s a chemical composter,” said Coun. Bob Day who presented a video illustrating the machine at last Tuesday’s Public Works Comittee meeting. “There are about 190 successful operations of this machine in North America and it’s all about working towards handing the garbage man a bag of garbage. That to me is a more practical solution than a $15 million garbage project for the Town of Lake Cowichan and if you control the anaerobic activity in there, then you control the odour.”

The BIOvator can also utilize grass clippings and Day thinks it would cost the town anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 depending on add-ons in terms of length of the machine. A potential location for the BIOvator wasn’t discussed.

“We pick up about 1.4 metric tonnes of garbage daily,” said superintendent Nagi Rizk.

Day confirmed the machine would require daily monitoring but is all for moving forward with greener, eco-friendly actions in Lake Cowichan.

“One or two people would monitor the machine as you would do with the sewer system. You would look at the temperature and make adjustments to the speed etc. I’d like to request staff to do some homework on this machine.”

Various council members were keen to also see an in-depth report come forward from staff.

“I think this is a better idea than sending our garbage to Meades Creek or Duke Point or Cobble Hill,” said Coun. Tim McGonigle.

Mayor Ross Forrest was also excited by Day’s discovery.

“I’m pretty sure we’re not the only 3,000 population town who will be looking into this,” said the mayor.

Like McGonigle, Day is not keen to continuously send garbage elsewhere.

“I’m not a fan of shipping this stuff to other communities. The whole world needs to be responsible for the waste it produces,” said Day. “It’s a great application for small communities and it’s expandable.”