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New guide offers best practices for disposal of agricultural waste

Central Okanagan farmers now have a new guide book and DVD showing how to safely dispose of waste materials.

The Agricultural Waste Disposal—Best Practices Guide offers useful information for fruit growers and other members of the agricultural community to help save time and money while being kind to the environment.

Regional air quality coordinator Kate Bergen said: “Farmers can use the guide and accompanying video disc to make informed decisions on easily and safely managing prunings and yard waste, removing orchards and vineyards and recycling agricultural plastics.

“The DVD has added information on composting, using woodchips and other best management practices.

“Together, they explain how local geography and weather conditions can affect air quality and how pollution from burning can adversely impact the health of Central Okanagan residents and our environment.”

Links to the guide in English and Punjabi and the video are available online at regionaldistrict.com/airquality or the air quality program page on the City of Kelowna website.

The guide and a limited supply of DVDs are available at all local government offices in the Central Okanagan.

One of the best management practices for wood waste disposal is chipping, says Bergen.

“Over the past eight years, hundreds of Central Okanagan fruit growers who removed orchards for replanting or other agricultural purposes have taken part in the free chipping program.

“This program helps protect the air quality in the region by providing a viable, free alternative to the previously common practice of burning agricultural wood waste which often leaves a smoky haze and harmful pollutants.

“Last year alone, chipping was completed at 39 farms preventing an estimated 140 tonnes of pollutants from getting into the air.”

To take part in the program, orchardists must register by contacting regional air quality program coordinator Kate Bergen at 250-469-8408.

Please call before removal to ensure proper program guidelines are followed.

Wood waste is chipped on-site and growers may use the chips as a ground cover to reduce weeds, maintain moisture and improve the soil. For more information see regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

 

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