Local resident Rick Jones wants to start a composting business and he attended the last District of 100 Mile House council meeting of 2010 to seek support.
If approved, he wants to process agricultural manure, garden waste, wood chips, and organic matter from the
local grocery stores in 100 Mile House and area.
Jones said he’s looking for approximately five to 10 acres of semi-flat land to use as the composting site.
“I am interested in the piece of village property off of the Canim/Hendrix Lake Road between Highway 97 and Stevenson Lake. As I require large amounts of water, I am also interested in the [sewage lagoon] water in pond 3 for this purpose.”
Jones would be doing windrow composting, which considered aerobic composting rather than the anaerobic process used east of Cache Creek that has a distinct odour.
Noting there are windrow sites at Bridge Creek Estates and a ranch at 105 Mile, Jones has brought chicken manure into those sites and no one has complained about the smell.
He will use a windrow turner, which aerates the pile and applies water to speed up the degradation process.
The resulting compost can be used on gardens, lawns and flowerbeds.
Once the site is operating, Jones said he would donate compost to the community garden and the industrial hemp
project to see if it
will improve production. He intends to sell the compost to the public and area farms for improved natural fertilizer for fields.
Another benefit would be keeping produce waste out of the landfill, he said, adding there is a lot of this waste and it would save significant space. While the rotting produce would increase the aroma factor, Jones said it wouldn’t last long, as it dissipates when it’s turned over.
He asked council for support in terms of providing a land-use contract or cheap lease and support with the Agricultural Land Commission because the acreage is zoned as agricultural, but the composting business would be considered commercial.
Jones also requested the results of any soil or percolation tests done on the land in question, and noted he would be required to test the water in pond 3.
At the end of the presentation, councillors appeared to be very interested in the project.
Mayor Mitch Campsall said he would have to work with staff to iron out any issues.
Council approved the project in
principle, so Jones will be working
with staff and then it will be brought back to council for decisions.
Jones will also have to ensure leachate doesn’t seep into the ground, and it was suggested
that he research insurance costs.