Golden’s Master Composters
The Town of Golden has a new resource just waiting to be utilized… Master Composters! Last week the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) sent their Waste Reduction Facilitator, Carmen Fennell, to our community to teach a course that she delivered to ten volunteers. Wildsight Golden partnered with the CSRD to coordinate the event and the Golden Museum was kind enough let us use their facilities for instruction. Composting keeners learned about environmental stewardship surrounding waste reduction, which included learning about the history of waste management, home composting, worm composting and residential recycling. Volunteers also had hands on training, and built a composter that could be used in any backyard situation. The result of this course is that we now have ten individuals in our community that are Master Composters. They are ready to contribute 35 hours each of volunteer activities to promote composting in Golden, as well as the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle.
Many people do not consider where their waste goes once they put it on the curb. They put it in the green bin, it is taken away in a big truck, and then it is largely forgotten about. Do you know where your garbage goes? Well, in Golden it is taken to the CSRD landfill located on Golden-Donald Upper Rd, where your waste is properly disposed of to comply with Operational Certificates and Provincial criteria. If you live in Rural Area A, you might bring your waste to the CSRD transfer station in Parson, but ultimately this also ends up in the CSRD landfill. And hopefully, you don’t just burn your garbage or throw it in the bush, as this can lead to environmental problems such as unhealthy air and land contamination.
It is interesting to note that nearly 30 percent of what goes into the CSRD landfills are compostable materials like vegetable scraps. This compostable material is buried in the landfill and left to sit underground for a very long time, since it is not exposed to oxygen and the tightly compacted soil does not allow for biodegradation to occur. Without exposure to oxygen, it could take even a head of lettuce many years to decompose! When wastes are not exposed to oxygen, slow decomposition also produces harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. However, if you composted your lettuce and other organics, GHGs would be reduced, as well as your waste output and environmental footprint. You would also generate a useful and valuable by-product… organic compost! Compost is free and is an incredibly healthy and valuable resource when used as a soil conditioner to help you grow delicious garden veggies.
If you are interested in learning more about the three R’s or backyard composting; how to do it, how to build your own composter, or how to purchase a ready-to-go Earth Machine (plastic composter), contact Carmen Fennell with the CSRD. She would be happy to put you in touch with one of Golden’s newly recruited Master Composters who will help answer your questions. You can reach Carmen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-248-2773.