Of the many qualities that attracted me to the Salt Spring Island community, ingenuity was a huge draw. It still is. Whether it’s critical mass or the propensity to organize to solve problems, islanders know how to get stuff done!
For example, while you and I, and the restaurants we patronize, are tackling the daily chore of dealing with kitchen scraps, a group of people is organizing around the same topic. They came together in April of this year to create an informal group ― the Organic Waste Working Group.
Initially, their goal was to share ideas and compare notes about organic waste management on Salt Spring Island. Since January 2015, the CRD has banned all kitchen scraps from the garbage, so businesses and institutions have been shipping their organic waste off island.
Enter the Organic Waste Working Group, which wants to create another viable option for dealing with kitchen scraps that keeps the nutrients on island. The group consists of people from a wide range of interests, including the public sector (CRD), the private sector (Country Grocer), the social sector (Community Services), agriculture, and education (Gulf Islands Secondary School).
The Organic Waste Working Group has initiated a study that will quantify the organic waste inputs that could be treated on island; the quantity of soil enhancement being brought on island; and possible funding sources. The final part of the study is to ask homeowners a few questions about their kitchen scraps: fill out the 4-question survey here. [Survey now closed.]
The group has many reasons for wanting to find a workable solution to dealing with Salt Spring’s organic waste:
- Decrease greenhouse gas emissions created by Salt Spring residents and businesses
- Decrease local air pollution and reduce carbon emissions from transporting materials on and off island
- Keep valuable nutrients on island for long-term sustainability
- Eliminate or reduce the need (and the expense) of bringing in compost from off-island
- Stimulate local economic development by fostering innovative solutions that may have market potential created by Salt Spring inventors
- Provide ongoing environmental and waste management educational opportunities on Salt Spring Island
- Decrease costs for local businesses and institutions
- Decrease septic waste processing and transportation costs
This study is the first step in moving toward the goal of managing our organic waste here on Salt Spring. Please take 1 minute to complete the 4-Question Survey on Kitchen Scraps for Homeowners. [Survey now closed.]