Party in the Park is a testing ground for a new kind of waste collection in Chilliwack.
All food scraps are being separated from the waste stream every Friday night this summer, as part of a long-term plan City of Chilliwack to reduce garbage volumes going into the landfill.
City and BIA officials joined forces to do a test-run of the Green Diversion program starting with the first PIP event on Friday, July 8, with the help of volunteers directing visitors to specially marked bins positioned around Central Community Park.
“We think that big community events are the perfect time to demonstrate good stewardship,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “It’s also a good way to see if we can handle the volumes of food scrap waste, and educate the public at the same time.”
A waste audit conducted by the contractor the city hired determined that 30 per cent of the waste stream created by Chilliwack is made up of food scraps and organic material. That is the potential for waste diversion.
“We’ll be asking them to recycle their waste carefully, so we don’t generate a lot of garbage at one of downtown’s biggest events of the year,” said Gaetz.
It’s easy to do. Bins will be highly visible in the park with one for food scraps, one for recycling, one for drink containers, and one for garbage.
Everything from apple cores and orange peels to hot dogs and buns and corn cobs can go into the food scrap bin.
BIA officials are also working closely with PIP vendors on reducing disposal containers and utensils. Bulk water will be available on-site to reduce water bottle garbage.
The food scrap collection is not just restricted to organics like plants, fruits and vegetables. Meat and other proteins can be included because the composting process used by the commercial processor easily breaks down the proteins and fat with optimum heat levels.
It’s different for backyard composting, when attracting rodents is a concern, said city staff with the environmental services department.
The food scrap waste will be taken to a compost processing facility owned by Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre, which runs the Parr Road composting facility.
Several volunteers are still needed to fill the vital role of waste diversion guides at the six stations around the park over the eight nights of PIP this summer. Groups and business reps are welcome to volunteer for three-hour shifts as well.
To volunteer, call 604.793.2907 or get a volunteer application from www.downtownchilliwack.com.