The provincial government will help fund compost collection programs in Fernie, Kimberley, Invermere, and Creston.

They are among 23 projects set to receive a portion of $12.48 million from the province’s CleanBC organic infrastructure and collection program.

• The City of Fernie will get $176,000 towards a new food and waste collection program to serve more than 2,000 homes. The overall cost of the project is $264,000.

• The City of Kimberley will receive $198,400 for a similar project that will serve more than 3,000 homes at a total cost of $647,000.

• The District of Invermere’s share is $173,000 toward a project worth $271,000 that will serve over 1,500 homes.

• The Town of Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay will also receive $1.2 million toward a compost collection program and new recycling facilities in Creston and Salmo.

“It’s super exciting,” Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson said in an interview. “It’s going to help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs. And we’ll be able to produce compost for our residents.”

“By diverting organic waste from landfills, these projects will reduce the release of methane greenhouse gases and remove an estimated one million tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent over 10 years,” Environment Minister George Heyman said in a news release.

According to the province, organic waste accounts for 40 per cent of material sent to municipal landfills in BC and 3.5 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.