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Revelstoke’s Local Food Initiative encouraging businesses to compost

The initiative is hoping to have most businesses onboard by August
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Revelstoke’s Local Food Initiative (LFI) is working hard to get businesses to compost their food waste.

Isaac Burkam is the Compost Coordinator with LFI and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CRSD) and has been busy engaging with businesses around town. In his role, Burkam is providing businesses with information to help them set up and/or improve their composting.

Burkam explained that there was a composting facility built in 2022 in Revelstoke and that because of a bylaw amendment that came in effect in 2024 which stipulates that if businesses have more than 10 per cent food waste, their tipping fee will be subject to a substantial increase.

He noted that many businesses have been onboard with the initiative, but some have also been a little slower to begin to make changes to their waste disposal. Burkam sees composting as a way to improve the economy and protect the environment.

“Our entire economy is based on tourism here and people come to see the beautiful environment around us,” said Burkam.

Many businesses have already started their own composting initiatives, such as Terra Firma which brings its food waste back to its farm and composts it there, and Begbie Brewing which arranges for its grain and barley waste to be used as feed for cattle.

For businesses looking to get involved with composting, Burkam said that they can haul their compost to the facility or arrange pickup. Burkam did note that the challenge of bears getting into the compost bins is of concern and something that they are looking into. The Regent Hotel, for example, is looking into building an enclosure around its bins to prevent bears from getting into them.

Burkam is determined to make Revelstoke greener and hopes to have most downtown businesses composting by August.

“The main goal of this initiative is to minimize the volume of compostable waste in the landfill, this helps to reduce large volumes of methane emissions associated with compostable material in the landfill and save space in the landfill for items that actually need to be there,” said Burkam.

For any business who would like to consult with Burkam or individuals who have questions regarding composting, they can reach him at compost@revelstokelocalfood.com

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About the Author: Lauren McNeil

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