Public composting considered

An analysis has taken a look at potential solutions to reduce Invermere's wastefulness and hopefully generate revenue for the community

While surveys have indicated that Invermere residents are in favour of a district-wide composting program, the local population has made it clear that a tax increase to pay for it would not be well-received.

The Community Composting Feasibility Analysis, a report conducted by Groundswell Network Society, is taking aim at an ideal solution to reduce Invermere’s wastefulness and hopefully generate revenue for the community.

“At Groundswell, what we want to see, is better management of our waste as a community and potentially turn it from what is currently a cost, at least into a revenue-neutral or revenue-positive kind of enterprise where we can treat our waste and even create a job for someone managing a facility like that right here in our own community,” said Groundswell Project Leader Bill Swan in conversation with The Echo.

Groundswell is talking with the District of Invermere, as well as interested partners, in efforts to “determine if a workable business model can be developed that will advance community and regional level composting.”

Swan was at the Invermere council meeting on Tuesday, February 26 to discuss Groundswell’s Community Composting Feasibility Analysis and request an in-depth business meeting about the project. Council approved the request and will hold a committee of the whole meeting in March.

To make a composting program feasible would coincide with Groundswell’s mission statement: to promote sustainability in the Columbia Valley by fostering innovative projects that encourage health for people, the environment and the economy.

Groundswell Network Society has three main focuses, Swan explained: enticing social enterprise to succeed, encouraging economic viability on a sustainable level for the community (youth training and employment and long term employment is of strong interest), and ensuring that projects are fulfilled environmentally.

“Composting can kind of bring those three things together in one package,” Swan said.

Enterprising Non-Profits of B.C. and the Invermere supported the Feasibility Analysis, and are now encouraging the business planning phase to begin.

The Community Composting Feasibility Analysis was prompted by responses to the 2011 Imagine Invermere plan, where residents indicated their desire to implement a public composting program.