Curbside food scrap pickup for Pitt

Last night’s dinner, soggy pizza boxes and yard trimmings will soon be picked up from the curb in Pitt Meadows.

The city figured out the cost of starting an organic waste collection program, with plans to start the service as early as next summer.

All Metro Vancouver municipalities are working to bring in kitchen scrap pickup programs for single-family homes by the end of 2012.

With 40 per cent or more of the waste stream consisting of organics, it’s hoped less trash will be dumped into landfills and the region’s incinerator.

Cities aim to bring composting to multifamily homes, as well, but by 2015.

That’s the same year Metro committed to reach its ambitious target of recycling or composting 70 per cent of the waste stream from all sectors, including businesses, to rein in how much garbage is landfilled or burned.

Last year, Pitt Meadows introduced fines for residents who dump recyclables in their garbage and put size limits on garbage cans while educating the public about the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

The message seems to have worked.

This year, the City of Pitt Meadows forecasts garbage will reduced by 200 tonnes over 2010, when residents generated 2,100 tonnes of trash and recycled 1,396 tonnes.

Recycling rates, meanwhile, have increased by seven per cent.

“We’ve been seen a trend of people recycling more, and more compliance with the size of garbage cans,” said city director of operations Kim Grout.

Staff will present five options for organics collection to council during the business planning process in December, when the city determines what projects to finance for the next fiscal year.

Staff support a scenario which would cost the city around $187,000 annually – the contractor would supply totes and bins for organic waste – or about $51 a year per household.