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New composting facility for Tla’amin Nation, qathet Regional District

A new organics processing facility in Powell River will not only produce Class A compost and support agriculture, but bring new jobs along with it.

The Tla’amin Nation is set to build the $1.15-million facility on land adjacent to the former Catalyst paper mill site, the BC Government says, with construction set to wrap up by March 31st, 2022.

Two-thirds of the funding will come from the joint federal/provincial Organics Infrastructure Program (OIP), with the rest coming from the Tla’amin Nation.

The facility is expected to process up to 2,000 tonnes of organic waste each year, along with high-quality compost for local agriculture.

“As the Tla’amin move forward developing our Tla’amin Nation lands, we want to bring forward projects that are in line with our community-driven land-use plan,” says Tla’amin Hegus (Chief) John Hackett.

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“One of our many plans is to utilize our land to grow produce and raise livestock, and the Class A compost produced by the organics processing facility will support agricultural and food security for the Tla’amin Nation. It will also service the qathet Regional District and the City of Powell River, while providing jobs and economic opportunities.”

According to the Province, the Tla’amin project adds to the 13 OIP projects already announced. However, it’s the first one led by an Indigenous Nation.

The OIP was launched back in 2008, in partnership with federal and local governments, to reduce greenhouse gases and ensure communities are clean and healthy places to live.

“Overall, the OIP will result in a reduction of nearly 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, the equivalent of removing 100,000 cars from the roads for a year,” the Province says, adding that organic waste currently represents 40 per cent of material sent to municipal landfills in B.C.

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