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Squamish denies organic composting diversion

Establishment of food-waste only project can't progress

On the recommendation of staff, a request by Vancouver-based organic composting company Net Zero Waste to have the District of Squamish ban organics from its waste stream was denied by city council at last week's council meeting.

"What they were asking us to do is ban organics and we're not ready to ban organics until we can provide a positive alternative, that was the gist of it," said Rod MacLeod, the District's solid waste project manager. "We may do that in the future, but we're just not ready to do that yet."

Net Zero Waste owner Mateo Ocejo said that without support from Squamish, which owns the regional landfill, the establishment of a food-waste only project can't progress.

Mayor Greg Gardner said Squamish would consider its options, including a curbside pick up program for household organic waste, based on a cost-benefit analysis. Macleod said options will be weighed over the next year.

"We reported to council that the intention is to have something in place next spring so part of the discussion in council is rather than take this company's proposal, we'll probably go to a public process of some sort and say 'this is what we want to do in Squamish,' and then Zero Waste and other companies can bid on that," said MacL eod. "Basically their timeframe didn't sit well with our timeframe. They wanted support for this right now and Squamish wasn't ready to do that."