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

Rockets continue road trip Wednesday night in Prince Geroge

Kelowna dropped game one of their four game road-trip on Saturday against Kamloops

Quails’ Gate Winery to celebrate 30 year anniversary

A limited amount of tickets are available for the event

Hundreds attend first annual climate and food conference in Kelowna

Over 25 industry experts spoke at the two-day event

Kelowna Gospel Mission hosts street-hockey game to fight homelessness stigma

The hockey game was filmed to bring more attention to homelessness in the Okanagan

Pug-O-Ween 2019 to take Kelowna dog park by snort

Calling all pug-owners and Halloween lovers!

BC SPCA: From walking dogs to sponsoring galas

The Canadian Jewelry Exchange is a sponsor for this year’s gala

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

South Okanagan man charged following armed standoff gets bail

Information on the proceedings is limited due to publication ban

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Behind the blue and white Carnival clown mask

Toshie Okada is named October’s Respect Works Here Community Champion

Most Read