A study of the waste on the Vernon, B.C. landfill found compostable organics were a significant source of trash.

Within the 85 samples taken in the autumn of 2021 and spring of 2022, the most important category of waste, making up 29 per cent of the fabric by weight, was compostable organics.

“It is vitally common to have compostable organics be the most important category of waste,” the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) stated in a summary of the study.

“What was alarming is that just about half of compostable organic waste observed was avoidable food waste, which is largely considered edible food ending up in our landfills.”

The study found a major amount of yard waste that would have been composted was also ending up within the trash, the RDNO said.

The study was done before Vernon launched its curbside compost pickup program in May and prior to latest higher tipping fees for industrial food waste coming into effect next 12 months.

So officials hope this study might be used as a baseline to match future results to in an effort to see if those programs are working.

The regional district believes that composting programs can also help with the quantity of paper being sent to the landfill, because the RDNO said as quite a lot of paper present in the waste study was food-soiled paper.

One other category of trash causing concern is textile waste.

The RDNO said the quantity of textile waste present in the samples was up significantly from the same study ten years ago.

This time textiles made up nearly five percent of the rubbish sampled, the regional district said.

“Unfortunately, this was expected considering the rapid growth of fast fashion and increasing prevalence of low-quality clothing that doesn’t last long,” the RDNO study summary stated.

While 85 samples were taken, the RDNO cautioned that “waste might be highly variable so the outcomes presented … mustn’t be considered definite proportions.”

Vernon’s landfill is estimated to have lower than 4 many years of space left in it.


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