Pictured left to right, during the presentation of the first green cart in Chilliwack are Dennis Monestier, Environmental Solutions Manager – Canada, Ed Walsh, VP Operations, BC, Emterra Environmental, Sharon Gaetz, Mayor, City of Chilliwack and local Rosedale residents Chloe, Terisha and Maximus Mitchell.
Residents of Chilliwack’s 21,200 single family and duplex homes are set to get a new, enhanced compostable (organic) waste collection service that will reduce household garbage and benefit the environment at the same time. Starting the week of May 1, residents will be able to put food waste, food-soiled paper and yard waste together in their new Green Cart for weekly collection.
Delivery of the Green Cart along with a 2 Gallon "kitchen catcher" to households on the City’s curbside collection program began Tuesday and will continue Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout April. Residents should not place their Green Carts out for collection until May. The City is providing a compostable waste information package with each cart.
Mayor Sharon Gaetz together with Emterra Environmental VP of Operations, Ed Walsh, and Rehrig Pacific Environmental Solutions Manager for Canada, Dennis Monestier, kicked off distribution of the Green Carts and kitchen catchers by delivering a set to Terisha Mitchell and children, Chloe and Maximus, who live in Rosedale.
"The City of Chilliwack is pleased to enhance our curbside collection program with the addition of compostable waste collection and thanks the many residents that advocated for this service," said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. "Through this new program, we will be able to divert even more waste from the landfill than recycling alone, leaving a better planet for our children and grandchildren to enjoy."
The City selected Emterra Environmental as its partner in the program. Emterra will collect the Green Carts on residents’ regular collection days starting the first week of May.
"Collecting and composting yard waste and kitchen food scraps will have an important impact on the diversion of waste from Chilliwack’s landfill. Compostable materials make up over 40 per cent of our household garbage," noted Emterra’s VP of Operations Ed Walsh. "Keeping them out of landfill not only saves space, it also avoids the production of methane gas, which is a powerful Greenhouse Gas that is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Composting is good for the soil, good for the air and good for us," he added.
Terisha couldn’t agree more. As a resident of Chilliwack’s Rosedale farming community, she knows first hand how critical it is to replenish soil with nutrient rich compostables.
"I have a background in agriculture but more importantly I’m a consumer and a mom. For the sake of the environment our kids will inherit, I think we need to look at how we manage the waste we create not as a problem, but as an opportunity. We need to take a holistic approach. We produce, we use and we recover the resources to be used again. The compostable waste collection program helps us complete the cycle for food and yard waste," Terisha said.
The Green Carts and kitchen catchers are being supplied by Rehrig Pacific, a company that has been manufacturing containers for recycling and yard waste and kitchen scraps for decades.
"Working closely with Emterra, we have taken into consideration all factors in the development of our solution; the need of efficiency for the collector, the ease of use for the resident and the increase in participation for the City," said Dennis Monestier, Rehrig’s Environmental Solutions Manager for Canada. "Combining these factors along with a wildlife clip that will prevent the intrusion of animals, we believe that the City of Chilliwack will be the driving force to a cleaner and greener future."
In 2016, the City awarded a new seven-year contract to Emterra Environmental to collect garbage and recycling, and at the same time expanded the service to include residential compostable waste (yard waste, kitchen food scraps, and food-soiled paper) collection. The recycling collection service performed by Emterra is partially funded by RecycleBC (formerly Multi-Material British Columbia).