Quesnel Composting Program Benefits from Federal Gas Tax Funding

    QUESNEL, BC, Aug. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - A total of $165,000 from the federal
Gas Tax Fund will help the City of Quesnel implement a composting program at
its municipal landfill. The announcement was made today by Richard Harris, MP
for Cariboo - Prince George, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. John Rustad, MLA for
Prince George - Omineca, Councillor Mary Sjostrom, UBCM Executive Member and
Quesnel Mayor Nate Bello joined MP Harris in celebrating the announcement.
    The funding will support the development of a drop-off point for local
residents to deposit their compostable household waste, including lawn
clippings, garden and kitchen waste. The program will also receive public yard
waste and compostable waste from commercial and industrial businesses.
    "Canada's New Government is pleased to work in partnership with the
Province of British Columbia and the UBCM to support communities like Quesnel
in their efforts to invest in environmentally sustainable projects that lead
to a cleaner environment and an improved quality of life," said MP Harris.
"This investment supports the government's commitment to address the
infrastructure needs of Canadians."
    "It's exciting that the City of Quesnel is taking steps to use green
solutions to create a healthier, greener community for residents," said
Mr. Rustad. "I'm so pleased that our partnerships between governments are
helping Quesnel make this happen."
    "The new composting program will be a great resource for the citizens of
Quesnel and the surrounding Cariboo Regional District electoral areas," said
Councillor Sjostrom. "We are pleased to see all of the regions in BC
benefiting from the Gas Tax Fund."
    There are a number of benefits to the implementation of a composting
program at the municipal landfill, including:

    - diverting 30% of the waste stream from the landfill and extending its
      lifespan by approximately 10 years;
    - reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill by 530 metric
      tonnes of CO2 per year;
    - creating future employment (as many as five jobs);
    - providing top dressing and soil conditioner for City parks and
      planters; and
    - reducing the risk of groundwater contamination.

    "We are very proud to continue to provide environmentally responsible
ways for our residents to contribute to a cleaner and greener community," said
Mayor Nate Bello. "Environmentally, it's simply the right thing to do, while
economically, these types of initiatives save our taxpayers' money by
extending the life of our landfill.
    The development of the site is anticipated to begin this fall, with
project completion anticipated for next summer.
    Canada's New Government is providing $635.6 million to British Columbia
from 2005 to 2010 through the Gas Tax Agreement. As part of its $33 billion
"Building Canada" plan, the Government of Canada extended the Gas Tax Fund by
an additional $2 billion per year nationally, from 2010 to 2014. Gas Tax
funding is available to local governments for environmentally sustainable
projects that lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas, cleaner air or cleaner
water. The Gas Tax Agreement is administered in British Columbia by the Union
of BC Municipalities.
    The funding for the composting program is provided through the General
Strategic Priorities Fund of the Canada - BC - UBCM Gas Tax Agreement. Please
visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or www.civicnet.bc.ca for background
information on the Gas Tax Agreement in BC.

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary to the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, (613) 991-0700; Infrastructure Canada, (613)
948-1148; Marc Black, Communications Manager, Ministry of Community Services,
(250) 356-6334; Paul Taylor, Relationships and Communications Advisor, Union
of BC Municipalities, (250) 356-2938; Matt Wood, Communications Supervisor,
City of Quesnel, (250) 991-7475

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