Community Composting

In 2009 the Alliance conducted a feasibility study to evaluate the need for and feasibility of a Central Composting Facility. The preliminary research report included an overview of the regulatory requirements, a review of regional composting facilities, findings from the Salt Spring market and feedstock surveys and equipment and operational considerations. The final report in March 2010 proposed a Pilot Demonstration Project composting General Organic Materials consisting of yard waste, land clearing debris, spoiled produce and animal manures.

A site and operator was selected and a Temporary Use Permit application was submitted to the Islands Trust. The TUP application was withdrawn early in 2011 before a decision was made as a result of objections from a neighbour, who misunderstood the nature of the proposed composting pilot. Lacking a suitable site and operator, the Alliance took an alternative approach and held a series of “Bring Your Branches” yardwaste collection days in the Spring of 2012.

“Bring Your Branches” and the Fall “Leaf Exchange” continued in partnership with CRD, until 2014 with one “Bring Your Branches” collection day each month through the winter months.  Volunteers were provided by Transition Salt Spring Society. The program demonstrated both the need for the service and the availability of carbonaceous materials.

If a suitable site can be found, a yard waste composting demonstration is the logical next step. The long term goal remains a Central Composting Facility capable of handling Salt Spring’s food waste and creating top quality compost for island growers.

(2012-06) Salt Spring Island Composting Pilot Project Summary -
This project is part of the Salt Spring Island Agriculture Infrastructure project funded by the Vancity enviroFund™ and continues the work begun in 2009 with the Central Composting Feasibility Study.
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(2010-03) Salt Spring Island Central Composting Feasibility Study Final Report -
The final report provides a preliminary financial and regulatory evaluation of the feasibility of a central composting facility on Salt Spring Island, and completes the work. For clarity, the composting of biosolids (sewage sludge) is not contemplated, and is the subject of an unrelated CRD project at the Burgoyne septage site.
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(2009) SSI Central Composting Feasibility Study, Preliminary Research Report -
The Central Composting Feasibility Study includes a market assessment, an overview of regulatory requirements, equipment options—including in-vessel and enclosed windrow—possible locations, sources, availability, suitability and transport of raw materials, markets for finished product, capital and operating cost ranges and revenue estimates. Potential owners and operators will be identified to ensure the utility of the study.
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