Not fit for green recycling bin

A recemt column by Capital News contributor Gwen Steele indicated to not put noxious weeds in your green recycling waste bin, but rather in your garbage bin to be buried in the landfill.

That remarks requires some clarification, because it goes against the   curbside Automated Collection program.

Since its inception, this program has  required that all yard waste go in the green lidded yard waste cart—not in the garbage.

No yard waste is permitted in the garbage.

Recommending otherwise is counter-productive to our long-standing messaging that we have worked a number of years now on getting out there, and will create problems for haulers, the public and landfill staff enforcing mandatory recycling bans.

As an alternative recycling measure, don’t put noxious weeds in your home composter.

Put them instead into your green lidded yard waste cart.

Once they end up at the City of Kelowna’s Ogogrow facility, the high temperatures reached in the composting process will nullify the noxious factor in these weeds.

Marcia Brown, with the City of Kelowna’s compost program, explains why noxious weeds in the yard waste bin are indeed entirely admissible: “We compost noxious weeds all the time and there are no weeds in the compost, so from my perspective those weeds can go in the green bins.

“Our compost piles reach and sustain thermophilic temperatures (55 to 70 C) for several weeks and are turned several times as they are processed.

“This is sufficient to inactivate weed propagules.  I never see any weeds sprouting from the finished Glengrow piles.

“The weed complaints I have investigated have turned out to be seeds already in the garden or contamination from trucking or something that blew in.

“Home composters should definitely not put noxious weeds in their piles as they will have trouble achieving the temperatures needed to inactivate seeds and plant parts.

Rae Stewart is the regional waste reduction facilitator for the Central Okanagan Regional District. For more information about recycling, call 250-469-6258 or check out the regional district website


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