Sunflowers, Zucchinis, Pumpkins Oh My!

By October 3, 2014Community News

Submitted. A demonstration garden at the Net Zero Waste Composting facility has netted 14 foot sunflowers, zucchinis the size of watermelons and 300 pound pumpkins.

The company used its certified organic compost produced from the City of Abbotsford’s compostable waste program in the garden. The company started producing the soil in the spring of this year and is now selling the local product.

The City of Abbotsford delivers an average of 270 tonnes of organic material a week to the Gladwin Road facility. The City’s residential curbside collection program began in 2013 and to date has saved the city almost $200,000.

Savings for the City of Abbotsford are realized from paying lower tipping fees to drop off the compostable waste at the composting facility rather than dropping it off as garbage at the local Transfer Station. Abbotsford has an 87 percent resident participation rate in the compostable waste program which contributed to diverting 65 percent of the City’s waste from the landfill.

The comprehensive collection program allows for almost everything to be either recycled or composted. All food waste and yard waste is collected at curbside along with the usual blue bag recyclables including, paper, glass, plastics and metal. Residents are limited to three cans of garbage every 2 weeks for curbside pick-up, which is not a problem for most families that use the recycling and composting programs in tandem.

Both parties agree that this “trash to treasure” partnership is great for business. Net Zero Waste employees have harvested most of the garden, and given produce away to local groups like the Life Recovery Centre. Some of the really big pumpkins are still in the garden at Net Zero Waste and the public is welcome to come down during operating hours, see the pumpkins and even take home a sample of the organic soil.

Net Zero Waste has donated several big pumpkins which are on display at Abbotsford City Hall, Abbotsford and Mastqui Recreation Centres. Interested residents can enter to win one of the giant gourds at any of the facilities until October 14.

For information on the curbside collection program contact the City’s Engineering Department at 604-864-5514. Net Zero Waste can be contacted at 604-557-7065 for information about their organic soil product.

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