Central Saanich ponders allowing compost sales outside land reserve

But definitions could still hinder Central Saanich farmers

The agricultural commissions in Central Saanich will get a say as the district considers altering its approach to composting on agricultural land.

Council is considering changing the regulations on composting on farmland to allow the sale of compost for non-farm use outside the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Ian Vantreight, who’s been composting for more than a decade, said the district should update its bylaw restricting the sale of product.

“The ALC allows up to 50 per cent to be sold and as should be the case in Central Saanich,” Vantreight said Tuesday. “If Central Saanich wants to support farming all they need to say is composting and anaerobic digestion is a farm practice and as beneficial to farming in Central Saanich.”

Vantreight Farms is also working toward creating a waste-to-resource facility to replace its composting facility.

“In my mind what is being proposed for AD, which they are considering is different from composting, is way too complicated and restrictive and handcuffs farms to the point of making ADs unviable in a lot of cases, especially the facility we have been working on for over five years to build,” he said.

Monday night, council opted to send the staff report to the agricultural advisory committee and Peninsula Agricultural Commission for input. It, and the feedback, will come back to a future council committee meeting.

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