Curbside food waste collection

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

UPDATE: February 26, 2024

Thank you to everyone who has submitted comments on yoursay.rdco.com on the proposed food waste collection program for Central Okanagan residents. We appreciate your feedback.

We officially launched this site in October 2023 as part of Phase One of a public engagement process to share information about the current waste collection process, why food waste collection is now being considered, and to offer a space for you to ask questions and provide comments.

Phase one of engagement also included conducting a statistically valid survey with approximately 1800 randomly selected residents. This was completed in December 2023.

The goal of Phase One of engagement was to measure overall community support for a food waste collection program and identify concerns residents may have regarding this type of program.

A summary of the results have been compiled here: “What We Heard Report: Phase One Food Waste Engagement for the RDCO”. Phase One of the engagement process is now complete.

On February 22, 2024 the Regional Board received results of the "What We Heard Report". The report indicated as a region, 73% would support a curbside food waste program and 83% said they would likely participate in a food waste program if it was implemented.

Next steps for the project include additional public engagement focused on potential service design and delivery, with a proposal to be brought forward to the Regional Board by the end of 2024.

Service design to include:

  • where composting of food waste will take place
  • if a transfer station is required
  • costs related to collection, transport and processing of food waste
  • frequency of collection
  • identifying further public consultation and education needs

Stay tuned to yoursay.rdco.com for updates on Phase Two of the proposed food waste program.



Let’s talk food waste

Did you know that currently, 41% of residential garbage is compostable (including food waste and soiled paper)? Food waste and other compostables that are buried at the Glenmore landfill, decompose and produce methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas. Almost 70% of this gas is collected using underground pipes within the garbage and sent to a renewable natural gas upgrade plant located at the landfill. The remaining methane gas, however, enters the atmosphere and contributes to climate change.

Our 2022 Food Waste Feasibility Study identified putting food waste into yard waste carts as the preferred option to manage curbside food waste collection in the region. The Regional District of Central Okanagan has now begun to further explore the possibility of a curbside residential food waste collection program using existing yard waste carts. This would mean food waste would be diverted from the landfill and sent for composting.

Part of the exploration for a food waste collection program is to engage with residents of the Central Okanagan and get feedback on the possible program.

  • Phase 1 of this engagement will measure overall community support for a curbside food waste collection program as well as identify concerns residents may have regarding the program. Based on feedback received in this initial phase, the RDCO will then decide if and how to move forward in developing a region-wide curbside food waste collection program for Central Okanagan residents.

    As part of Phase 1, the RDCO is conducting a statistically valid survey and over 1800 residents are being randomly selected to participate. This mailout survey will provide a comprehensive understanding of residents’ opinions and preferences regarding food waste collection. Results of the survey will be compiled by an independent firm and presented to the Regional District this winter, with results of the survey available here as well.

  • Once Phase 1 is complete and if implementation continues, Phase 2 of the engagement will focus on addressing concerns identified in Phase 1. Concerns identified could include how often your waste is collected, where food waste would be processed, and how much the program would cost.

    Phase 2 of engagement would include a much broader level of public outreach and engagement including events such as open houses or pop up events, neighborhood newsletters, and more.


If you don’t receive a survey, you can provide your thoughts or ask questions below.



Why are we exploring food waste collection now?

  • The 2022 Food Waste Feasibility Study identified food waste going into existing yard waste carts as a good option for diverting food waste from landfill.
  • Food waste collection could divert almost 7,500 tonnes of waste from the landfill annually, extending the lifespan of the regions’ only landfill.
  • While 70% of methane gas (a powerful greenhouse gas) is captured at the landfill, 30% still enters the atmosphere. Reducing food waste going to the landfill will reduce overall greenhouse gas production at the landfill.
  • Food waste collection was identified as a key initiative to explore in the Regions Solid Waste Management Plan, which provides a blueprint for how our waste is managed in the region until 2030.
  • The Regional Board has identified implementation of a curbside organics (adding food waste) collection program in their 2023-2026 strategic priorities.
  • By 2047, the population of the Central Okanagan will likely grow by more than 85,000 people, leading to more waste. We need to find a way to manage our waste and landfill more effectively.


How organics are currently managed in the Central Okanagan

Today, over 15,000 tonnes of yard waste is collected curbside and composted into GlenGrow, a nutrient rich soil enhancer used to improve local soil in gardens and parks.

The majority of food waste in the region is landfilled at the Glenmore landfill. Food waste that is landfilled gradually decomposes and creates methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas. However, 70% of the methane gas generated at the Glenmore landfill is captured and diverted through a renewable natural gas upgrade plant operated by FortisBC. This renewable natural gas is used to heat homes and businesses in the region. Any remaining methane gas that is not captured is released into the environment.

Potential food waste collection program

Can more organic material be diverted from the landfill? We are exploring the possibility of collecting food waste so it could be composted, diverting waste from the landfill, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The most effective way to collect food waste in the Central Okanagan, according to our recent feasibility study (2022), is to put food waste into existing yard waste carts and begin collecting those yard waste carts weekly instead of biweekly. With food waste out of the garbage stream, garbage collection could be changed to every other week. As there are currently no local compost facilities permitted to process food waste in our region, a transfer station would need to be sited and built in the region to receive comingled food/yard waste from residential collection trucks. The material would then be hauled to a compost facility and finished compost could be used as a soil enhancer such as mine reclamation. This change in collection would likely have some additional cost to residents.

The first phase of the food waste program focuses on residents who have curbside yard waste collection. Other sectors such as multifamily, transfer station users and commercial generators of food waste would be explored in the future.


UPDATE: February 26, 2024

Thank you to everyone who has submitted comments on yoursay.rdco.com on the proposed food waste collection program for Central Okanagan residents. We appreciate your feedback.

We officially launched this site in October 2023 as part of Phase One of a public engagement process to share information about the current waste collection process, why food waste collection is now being considered, and to offer a space for you to ask questions and provide comments.

Phase one of engagement also included conducting a statistically valid survey with approximately 1800 randomly selected residents. This was completed in December 2023.

The goal of Phase One of engagement was to measure overall community support for a food waste collection program and identify concerns residents may have regarding this type of program.

A summary of the results have been compiled here: “What We Heard Report: Phase One Food Waste Engagement for the RDCO”. Phase One of the engagement process is now complete.

On February 22, 2024 the Regional Board received results of the "What We Heard Report". The report indicated as a region, 73% would support a curbside food waste program and 83% said they would likely participate in a food waste program if it was implemented.

Next steps for the project include additional public engagement focused on potential service design and delivery, with a proposal to be brought forward to the Regional Board by the end of 2024.

Service design to include:

  • where composting of food waste will take place
  • if a transfer station is required
  • costs related to collection, transport and processing of food waste
  • frequency of collection
  • identifying further public consultation and education needs

Stay tuned to yoursay.rdco.com for updates on Phase Two of the proposed food waste program.



Let’s talk food waste

Did you know that currently, 41% of residential garbage is compostable (including food waste and soiled paper)? Food waste and other compostables that are buried at the Glenmore landfill, decompose and produce methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas. Almost 70% of this gas is collected using underground pipes within the garbage and sent to a renewable natural gas upgrade plant located at the landfill. The remaining methane gas, however, enters the atmosphere and contributes to climate change.

Our 2022 Food Waste Feasibility Study identified putting food waste into yard waste carts as the preferred option to manage curbside food waste collection in the region. The Regional District of Central Okanagan has now begun to further explore the possibility of a curbside residential food waste collection program using existing yard waste carts. This would mean food waste would be diverted from the landfill and sent for composting.

Part of the exploration for a food waste collection program is to engage with residents of the Central Okanagan and get feedback on the possible program.

  • Phase 1 of this engagement will measure overall community support for a curbside food waste collection program as well as identify concerns residents may have regarding the program. Based on feedback received in this initial phase, the RDCO will then decide if and how to move forward in developing a region-wide curbside food waste collection program for Central Okanagan residents.

    As part of Phase 1, the RDCO is conducting a statistically valid survey and over 1800 residents are being randomly selected to participate. This mailout survey will provide a comprehensive understanding of residents’ opinions and preferences regarding food waste collection. Results of the survey will be compiled by an independent firm and presented to the Regional District this winter, with results of the survey available here as well.

  • Once Phase 1 is complete and if implementation continues, Phase 2 of the engagement will focus on addressing concerns identified in Phase 1. Concerns identified could include how often your waste is collected, where food waste would be processed, and how much the program would cost.

    Phase 2 of engagement would include a much broader level of public outreach and engagement including events such as open houses or pop up events, neighborhood newsletters, and more.


If you don’t receive a survey, you can provide your thoughts or ask questions below.



Why are we exploring food waste collection now?

  • The 2022 Food Waste Feasibility Study identified food waste going into existing yard waste carts as a good option for diverting food waste from landfill.
  • Food waste collection could divert almost 7,500 tonnes of waste from the landfill annually, extending the lifespan of the regions’ only landfill.
  • While 70% of methane gas (a powerful greenhouse gas) is captured at the landfill, 30% still enters the atmosphere. Reducing food waste going to the landfill will reduce overall greenhouse gas production at the landfill.
  • Food waste collection was identified as a key initiative to explore in the Regions Solid Waste Management Plan, which provides a blueprint for how our waste is managed in the region until 2030.
  • The Regional Board has identified implementation of a curbside organics (adding food waste) collection program in their 2023-2026 strategic priorities.
  • By 2047, the population of the Central Okanagan will likely grow by more than 85,000 people, leading to more waste. We need to find a way to manage our waste and landfill more effectively.


How organics are currently managed in the Central Okanagan

Today, over 15,000 tonnes of yard waste is collected curbside and composted into GlenGrow, a nutrient rich soil enhancer used to improve local soil in gardens and parks.

The majority of food waste in the region is landfilled at the Glenmore landfill. Food waste that is landfilled gradually decomposes and creates methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas. However, 70% of the methane gas generated at the Glenmore landfill is captured and diverted through a renewable natural gas upgrade plant operated by FortisBC. This renewable natural gas is used to heat homes and businesses in the region. Any remaining methane gas that is not captured is released into the environment.

Potential food waste collection program

Can more organic material be diverted from the landfill? We are exploring the possibility of collecting food waste so it could be composted, diverting waste from the landfill, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The most effective way to collect food waste in the Central Okanagan, according to our recent feasibility study (2022), is to put food waste into existing yard waste carts and begin collecting those yard waste carts weekly instead of biweekly. With food waste out of the garbage stream, garbage collection could be changed to every other week. As there are currently no local compost facilities permitted to process food waste in our region, a transfer station would need to be sited and built in the region to receive comingled food/yard waste from residential collection trucks. The material would then be hauled to a compost facility and finished compost could be used as a soil enhancer such as mine reclamation. This change in collection would likely have some additional cost to residents.

The first phase of the food waste program focuses on residents who have curbside yard waste collection. Other sectors such as multifamily, transfer station users and commercial generators of food waste would be explored in the future.


Food waste collection

Ask us anything about food waste collection.

loader image
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Will there be a monthly upcharge for adding food waste in the yard waste bin?

    Giz asked about 2 months ago

    We don not yet know cost of the program.


  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What is your definition of food waste? If it includes meat scraps, animal by-products, bones etc. I see a huge problem with animal attraction. The exiting yard waste bins built for that purpose are generally too large for indoor storage and as you would well know we have enough difficulty convincing citizens that the existing bins should be secured from bears and raccoons! Our household does not welcome this proposal as suggested. Our yard waste bin is fully committed to the purpose intended and we compost all food waste less animal products. A system which does not include the use of the existing yard waste bins should be considered.

    WK Gunner asked about 2 months ago

    Thanks for reaching out, we appreciate your feedback.

    The definition of food waste typically includes a number of materials not suitable for backyard composting such as soiled papers (paper towel, napkins, greasy food bags and boxes) as well as meat, bones, dairy, grains and cooked food.


  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How will putting food waste in the yard waste bin keep wildlife away from bins?

    Giz asked about 2 months ago

    Food waste in yard waste will not keep wildlife away, however developing a program to address this specific concern is part of the upcoming design phase process.

    We appreciate you reaching out.


  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I am grateful Kelowna is finally doing this. Vernon has had long before us. I have been taking it to a compost site for the last 10 years that we have lived here. Please get it to Apartments and Condos as soon as possible

    Jacqie Shartier asked about 2 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback Jacquie.

    The aim is to phase in food collection with a focus on those currently receiving curbside collection, then considering residents in condos and apartments and multi-family dwellings in future.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Is it possible to please impose fines on residents who do not safely store their garbage/food waste cans to prevent bears? I have neighbours who refuse to put their cans inside their garage, conservation officers have spoken to them, put up signage, handed out pamphlets, but there is no process in place for imposing fines, and we regularly have bears throughout the summer in our neighbourhood getting into garbage

    Cdarche asked about 2 months ago

    Thanks for reaching out.

    We appreciate your frustration.

    Conservation officers have the ability to not only issue warnings but also fines under the Wildlife Act. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I live in an area next to the bush.with multiple bear encounters , as there will always be people who put out the bins the night before. And also, what about days when the pickup is delayed for what ever reason. Stuff happens. Bears have come up on our decks at all times of the day and night. It can get very dangerous at times. Thank you for your response to my concerns . Kind regards , Linda Denne Also, the compost from the service should definitely be shared FREE of charge with the community involved. We are always facing rising costs at every turn these days. Enough is enough!

    LINDA DENNE, 1750 Lenz Road, West Kelowna. asked about 2 months ago

    Thanks for reaching out Linda.

    Your comments about wildlife are noted.

    Knowing there are concerns surrounding wildlife will help us design a program to address this issue.

    Regarding sharing end product compost free of charge, the details of the program have yet to be determined, and we appreciate your feedback.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How can people living in apartment buildings contribute to this program, as there are a lot of us!

    Lisa asked 5 months ago

    Thanks Lisa for your comments.

    We are hoping to phase in food waste collection, first focusing on those that currently have curbside collection. Multi family buildings (apartment/condo dwellers) would be considered in the future.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Is building a food waste processing plant in the region or in partnership with nearby regional districts an option under consideration?

    Gailbailey asked 5 months ago

    Thanks for reaching out Gail.

    Once we determine there is an interest in collecting food waste curbside and the Board approves moving to the next steps, we will begin reviewing processing options and potential partnerships.


  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    To me, this is a no brainer. I don’t understand why this requires study. Help me understand the downsides.

    Catherine asked 5 months ago

    Thanks Catherine for  your comments.


  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    My biggest concern is animals getting into the carts. Birds, Rodents, Cats, Bears and so on. Disrupting their natural feeding and/or fear of humans. I have seen current garbage bins have garbage strewn all over the place when animals are able to open the lids. Are there going to be ways to secure the lids so animals can't open it?

    ladylantana asked 5 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Knowing there are concerns surrounding wildlife including rodents and other animals will help us develop a program to address these types of issues.


Page last updated: 21 Mar 2024, 07:29 PM