Organic Waste Disposal Program
Information and FAQ

Program beginning July 1, 2024

  • Residential organic waste – No fee up to 500kg, then $75 per metric tonne
  • Commercial organic waste - $75 per metric tonne
  • Agricultural organic waste – No fee up to 500kg per day, $75 per metric tonne
  • All wood and wood products – $75 per metric tonne

Background information

In January 2024, the Okanagan saw a snap freeze that caused a substantial kill in the agricultural tree fruit and grape growing sectors. The kill may have affected over 92% of the plants, where an exact estimate of the damages and expected agricultural wastes have not been provided. In 2022, tonnages of yard waste went from 154 tonnes to 662 tonnes in 2023. The 2024 year is set to surpass the 2023 tonnages. Within the last three months, the RDOS has seen a dramatic increase in yard waste, primarily from the agricultural sector. From January to April of this year, tonnages at the Oliver landfill have increased from 44 tonnes to 230 tonnes, a 517% increase since 2022. During this same period in 2023, the tonnage was 84 tonnes.

Why the increase?

The RDOS Board voted to increase tipping fees for organic waste at all landfills and transfer stations to help cover operational costs as well as capital and long-term closure costs. A subsidy for organic waste is unusual for a Regional District to provide but was implemented to prevent backyard burning that causes poor air quality. Organic waste is being brought to landfills in record amounts and it is not economically possible to process it at current rates. If this amount continues to increase, the RDOS may eliminate all subsidies.

Why doesn’t the RDOS waive tipping fees and pay for everything through taxes?

The RDOS is committed primarily to a user-pay system. A completely tax-funded system does not encourage residents to recycle or compost which could reduce the life of RDOS landfills long-term.

How can customers keep their organic waste disposal costs manageable?

  • Chipping is a great way to process organic wood waste
  • Home composting turns yard waste and leaves into a valuable soil additive
  • Instead of bagging grass clippings, leave them mulched on the lawn to return valuable nutrients and moisture to the grass

How will this affect residents and farmers?

The RDOS is still subsidizing organic waste for residents and farmers. Residential yard waste and organic agricultural waste are receiving a subsidy for the first 500kg of organic waste per day. This is to discourage backyard burning that causes poor air quality and encourage proper waste disposal.