It might look like a lot of garbage but Whistler's composting facility is one of Whistler's most sustainable success stories.
The reason for all the buzz? The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) composting facility is literally turning garbage into gold or at least highly fertile, nutrient rich top grade compost.
The facility in the Callaghan Valley composts biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant, residential and commercial food waste and wood waste. The fully enclosed composter diverts waste from the landfill, effectively treats Whistler's biosolids, provides an opportunity for businesses and residents to compost food waste, and produces a number of high quality soil amendments for sale at the Waste Transfer Station and at the Squamish Landfill.
Whistler is leading the way with a facility that which showcases the full cycle of waste management. Seeing our biosolids, organic waste, and wood waste go into this system to produce compost or biofuel that can be sold and used locally or regionally is something our community can be proud of.
Currently the composting facility handles around 50 tonnes a day, five days a week. In 2007, Whistler's production of landfill waste was more than 600 kilograms per person. Whistler's new composting facility has the potential to divert more than 5,000 tonnes (five million kilograms) of organic material annually (the equivalent of more than 20 per cent of our total waste) from the landfill.
It adds up to the sweet smell of success for environmentally conscious Whistler. The compost facility helps the community move toward its goal of "zero waste," which is a goal of Whistler2020, the community's comprehensive long-term vision of success and sustainability in the future.