A Salmon Arm woman who received a faulty compost bin was horrified when she found flies and maggots feasting on the waste. (Tracy Hughes - Facebook)

A Salmon Arm woman who received a faulty compost bin was horrified when she found flies and maggots feasting on the waste. (Tracy Hughes - Facebook)

Curbside compost collection off to maggoty start for Salmon Arm woman

SCV Waste Solutions, city’s waste removal contractor, quick to help resident, replace faulty bin

A Salmon Arm woman who received a faulty compost bin was horrified when she found flies and maggots feasting within.

Read more: Salmon Arm recycling, food waste bin roll-out sparks some questions

Read more: Column: Digging into cemeteries, cinema and human compost

When Tracy Hughes received her new curbside food compost bin—distributed by the City of Salmon Arm, along with a small kitchen compost bin and a blue bin for recyclables, all for the revamped curbside collection program effective July 1—she noticed the lid would not close to form a proper seal. Not thinking much of it, she went to purchase city-approved compostable bags (labelled BPI) to use in the compost bins only to find most local stores had sold out.

Over the next week, following a list of compostable materials provided by the city, Hughes made use of the green bin. After a few days, however, she found something more than rotting compost in the bin and shared her discovery on a public Salmon Arm Facebook page.

“I didn’t want to photo this too close, but let’s just say that is not white rice on the outside of the bin,” said Hughes. Along with the stench coming from the bin, flies and maggots were working on decomposing the food inside as well. Hughes attributes this problem with the faulty seal on the lid.

Read more: Back to Earth: Washington State set to allow ‘human composting’

Read more: Composting gets a kick

“I really want to do this and I know its a good thing, but I don’t want to be dry heaving in my driveway. The smell was horrible the maggots were horrible.”

Hughes’ Facebook post garnered more than 300 comments from people voicing their disgust, as well as some similar experiences other people were having with their compost bins.

Some commenters advised Hughes to freeze her compost before putting it into the bin, something she said isn’t practical for her family.

“I have three kids and a freezer that’s pretty full. To be freezing all this stuff all the time and then putting it in there is going to be a bit of an issue,” she said.

Fortunately, Wes Birkett, an employee of SCV Waste Solutions, the contractor for the city waste removal program, saw and responded to Hughes’ post. He asked that she put the faulty bin out so he could take it away and bring her a new one. With Vicks VapoRub under her nose (a trick she learned on CSI), Hughes gratefully obliged and now has a bin that can be fully sealed, as well as plenty of compost bags to help reduce the smell.

“Change is hard for people, I know this is a good thing but, on the other hand, if it’s really disgusting I’m worried people are just going to give up and just put it in their garbage instead,” she said.

Carson Dorward, owner-operator of SCV, said the reason for the bins not closing properly is due to the plastic warping during shipping.

The company has received a few phone calls with similar issues and SCV has either told the callers how to fix the problem over the phone or visited residents to fix or replace the bins.

“We are just trying to start off on the right foot with the community and supporting the city and their program,” Dorward said. “They’ve been good to work with, so why not work with everybody and have people happy with us.”

Regarding residents concerned their compost bin will become bear attractant, Dorward said only time will tell if that will be the case.

“That same material was sitting in their garbage can last week. This week it’s just in a green bin right beside their garbage can, so I don’t see that making a whole lot of difference,” Dorward said.

Read more: Summerland mayor to revisit regional compost facility

Read more: Residents to receive three-pack of bins for composting, recycling

Large compost bags can be found at Save-On-Foods and smaller ones at downtown Askew’s. While Canadian Tire was sold out of the bags last week, they are now fully stocked on both sizes.

Large blue recycling bins, another hot commodity, are sold out and on backorder at some stores. However, labels are available from the City of Salmon Arm that can be used to mark bins or cans designated for curbside recycling.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Scooters lined up for an educational event in Stuart Park on Wednesday, June 16. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Free e-scooter safety training in Kelowna

Shared e-scooter operators collaborate to educate riders

The suspect reportedly assaulted a security guard and robbed him. The incident happened at a Kelowna hotel. (Contributed)
Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Employees at Playtime Casino wait outside while firefighters inspect the building after a small storage room fire on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News).
Small fire at Kelowna’s Playtime Casino as staff preps to re-open

Fire ignited in the storage room, but the staff were able to put it out

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A mother stands with her daughter, visiting senior parents but observing social distancing with a glass door between them.  The granddaughter puts her hand up to the glass, the grandfather and grandmother doing the same.  A small connection in a time of separation during the Covid-19 pandemic (Valley First/Contributed).
Have your say on which Okanagan, Thompson, Similkameen charities get donation

Valley First seeks public help to distribute $250,000 to local charities via social media campaign

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Most Read