New composting facility for B.C. region near Powell River

A new organics processing facility in British Columbia will produce Class A compost, support agriculture and food security for the Tla’amin Nation, service the qathet Regional District and Powell River, and provide new jobs and economic opportunities.

The Tla’amin Nation will build the $1.15-million facility beside the former Catalyst paper mill site in Powell River. Two-thirds of the funding will come from the joint federal/provincial Organics Infrastructure Program (OIP), and one-third from the Tla’amin Nation.

The new facility is expected to process up to 2,000 tonnes of organic waste each year and produce high-quality compost for local agriculture. The construction of the facility will be completed by March 31, 2022.

The project is estimated to result in a reduction, over 10 years, of 5,200 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent – a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints from different greenhouse gases). This is the same as removing more than 1,800 cars from the road for one year.

“As the Tla’amin move forward developing our Tla’amin Nation lands, we want to bring forward projects that are in line with our community-driven land use plan,” said Tla’amin Hegus (chief) John Hackett.

“One of our many plans is to utilize our land to grow produce and raise livestock, and the Class A compost produced by the organics processing facility will support agricultural and food security for the Tla’amin Nation. It will also service the qathet Regional District and the City of Powell River, while providing jobs and economic opportunities.”

Organics Infrastructure Program

The Tla’amin project adds to the 13 OIP projects announced to date and is the first one led by an Indigenous Nation. Overall, the OIP will result in a reduction of nearly 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, the equivalent of removing 100,000 cars from the roads for a year. Organic waste currently represents 40% of material sent to municipal landfills in B.C. and generates 7.5% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2018, the Province launched the OIP, in partnership with federal and local governments, to reduce greenhouse gases and ensure B.C. communities are clean and healthy places to live. The $30-million program combines up to $10 million in federal funding from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, $10 million from the Province and $10 million in matching funds from local government applicants and their partners.

The program is helping communities throughout B.C. expand their infrastructure and divert organic waste away from landfills. It is also helping the Province meet its CleanBC commitment to help communities to achieve 95% organic waste diversion for agricultural, industrial and municipal waste.