Compost site taking shape at old Brenda Mines site, Peachland council hears

Compost site taking shape

Peachland has role to play in a new composting facility being built at the old Brenda Mine site, two of the leaders behind the project told council on Tuesday.

Matthew Malkin and Rolfe Philip of Brenda Renewables spoke to council via Zoom about their project on Tuesday.

Food waste collected in a new curbside collection program slated to start in 2025 will be composted at the site, they said. The company is also hoping to work with wineries to bring waste products to their new facility.

Brenda Renewables is partnering with the Westbank First Nation’s Ntityix Development Corp. and mine owner Glencore on the project, the speakers said.

Malkin said Peachland could participate in the project by setting up a drop-off/transfer station that might bring some revenue to the municipality. Green waste drop-off days would be established a couple times a year for Peachland residents and Brenda would supply compost for community parks and gardens, he said.

“We want to start supporting a lot of the community gardens and some of the recreational areas within Peachland. Peachland will be the example for the rest of the Okanagan,” he said.

The transfer stations are important, Malkin said. “This is one thing that is very important to us because it’s important that we congregate the smaller trucks ... and then we’ll move it from the transfer stations up to the mine in much larger volumes so the carbon footprint stays low and the traffic stays low.”

He anticipated 3-4 large trailers would transport green waste from the stations to the site at first.

Measures to protect the environment and water supply are in place, the proponents said, and would be enforced by the government and the land owner.

Glencore and its predecessors have been cleaning up the site for years under strict government regulations.

Brenda hopes to launch a three-year composting pilot project this spring. Under current timelines, further expansions are targeted for 2027 and 2030.

The company also hopes to produce renewable natural gas for FortisBC.

Entry to the site will be off of the Okanagan Connector. Princeton Avenue would only be used as emergency route, Malkin told council.

“This is going to be a show site,” said Malkin. “This is going to be the echelon of organics processing. We need to do a really, really good job in showcasing this because everybody’s watching.”

Coun. Alena Glasman wondered if bones would be included in the food scraps that will be composted.

“We can accept bones. They break down like everything else,” answered Malkin. “A stew pot that’s simmering at 180 degrees, you leave a bone for 48 hours, it just turns to mush. We’re doing it for 45 days.”

The compost will be screened as well before it would go out to the public, Philip added.

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