City of Campbell River Sustainability Manager Amber Zirnhelt (second from right) and Compost Challenge Coordinator Amanda Taylor (far right) receive the Recycling Council of BC public sector environmental award from Alda Nicmans (RCBC Board Member

Compost challenge wins Campbell River Recycling Council award

Last summer’s composting challenge drove down the amount of organic waste going to the landfill

It’s officially award-winning.

Last summer’s composting challenge that captured community initiative and creativity on video and drove down the amount of organic waste going to the landfill in Campbell River won the attention of judges during the annual Recycling Council of British Columbia awards.

The City of Campbell River received the environmental award for the public sector category at the Recycling Council of British Columbia’s Annual Conference and Gala in Whistler on May 23. The award recognizes the City’s waste reduction initiatives, and in particular, the Compost Challenge video competition and rebate program that took place in 2012.

The video challenge involved six local families. The Bain, Revoy, Spetch, Ward, Thyne-Schmid, and Murphy families competed to reduce waste in their homes, learn to compost, and star in a reality-TV style video.

The families overcame barriers including fruit flies, fear of rodents getting into compost, lack of time and lack of knowledge on how to compost. The result: two entertaining videos to share their lessons with the community.

During the same time the Compost Challenge ran, 160 new composters were acquired by Campbell River households participating in the compost rebate program.

“We are really pleased to have received the RCBC award. It recognizes the efforts of our community to reduce the waste going to the landfill,” says Councillor Mary Storry, who holds the solid waste portfolio for Council.

“The Compost Challenge was a creative way to show how easy and fun composting can be for families. Since more than 35 per cent of our household waste is compostable material, the challenge was a great way to remind people that we can keep unnecessary waste from the landfill,” adds Councillor Larry Samson, who holds the environment portfolio for Council. “The award recognizes the efforts of community members who participated in the program, local media who helped with judging and promotion, City staff and the Comox Strathcona Waste Management, including the Compost Education Centre who sponsored the competition.”

Anyone who missed the video screening at the Earth Week Film Festival in April can view both the full-length professionally-produced compost challenge video (28 minutes) and the short version (8 minutes) on the City of Campbell River’s You Tube channel.

For more information on composting, visit the Compost Education Centre at 228 South Dogwood Street, across from Strathcona Gardens.