The Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen has two programs to help the local agricultural sector deal with the disposal of plastics disposal and other materials.
Agricultural properties can bring properly bundled or bagged agricultural plastics to the Campbell Mountain, Oliver, Okanagan Falls and Keremeos landfills. Growers can also apply for subsidized onsite chipping of trees and vines.
Agricultural plastics include ground crop cover plastic, irrigation tubing, irrigation t-tape, twine, silage wrap, netting and greenhouse plastic. At RDOS landfills, there are no tipping fees when these agricultural materials are properly contained. Properly contained means securely bundle tied or bagged to RDOS specifications. Agriculturists can contact the RDOS for information on how to properly contain plastics for free disposal.
Don Hamilton, RDOS Solid Waste Facilities superintendent, has seen the problems when agricultural plastics are not securely bundled or bagged.
“We’ve seen plastic sheets wrap around equipment that shuts down operations for several hours,” said Hamilton in a press release. “The uncontained plastics can be incredibly slippery making it dangerous for landfill equipment to drive over.”
Agriculturists will be charged regular garbage rates for agricultural plastics not properly contained or if other materials are mixed in. Empty agriculture chemical containers are not accepted at any RDOS landfills. Chemical containers must be taken back to the supplier rinsed clean. All booklets and caps should be removed.
The RDOS also subsidizes chipping of whole agricultural trees and vines. Stumps are hard for growers to burn and difficult to transport. The RDOS provides a large industrial chipper to grind whole agricultural trees in many parts of the regional district. The RDOS pays for 75 per cent of the cost of chipping. Growers interested in getting a free quote for their 25 per cent of the chipping cost can contact the RDOS for program details and availability.
Both of these programs are available year round but demand for them increases in the fall. Questions regarding these services can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or the Regional District Solid Waste group at 250-490-4129. Information is available at www.rdos.bc.ca.