Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Matilda the nanny, Petunia the pig, and Eeyore the mini-donkey, are just a few of the animals growing strong and healthy at Rainbow Recovery Farm thanks, in part, to the forward-thinking people running the Trail Beer Refinery.

That’s because ever since the brewing began, all the spent grains have been donated to the Casino farm, as well as to other growers and producers in the area.

How it works, is every few Fridays, Rick Malcolm makes a trip into town from his recovery farm in Casino and parks behind the Refinery, outside the bay door. From the huge beer-making vats, he fills up wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of steaming grains then rolls the bounty through the back of the brewery and unloads it into the box of his pick up.

“There’s no alcohol in the barley (grain),” he began. “What happens is the heat draws out the sugars, but there is about 40 per cent left in there, and it’s still nutritious. So it’s a supplement that we mix with the feed, and all our animals really enjoy it.”

While he’s in town, Malcolm also stops by the Rossland Avenue food bank to pick up the pantry’s old bread so instead of that going into the garbage bin, it gets fed to the animals as well.

To show his appreciation, he brings in his honey and bacon for the Refinery folks to enjoy, and Malcolm donates his meat products back to the food bank and other non-profits like Sanctuary, a free after-school care program for kids ages 8-12.

“So when you think about it, this barley goes a long way throughout the community,” he reflected.

This valued eco-enterprise between business and community has been going on for a few years now, quietly benefiting so many.

So in recognition of Earth Day 2019, which is actually Monday, April 22, the Trail Times chose this unassuming relationship as a fitting example of how eco-smart actions reap huge rewards that reverberate throughout the city year-round.

Read more: Montrose girls lead by example

Read more: Trail farmers market wins best in B.C.

“We started with our first batch,” says the Refinery’s Mike Konkin. “We have never let even one bucket of spent grain go to the garbage.”

And that doesn’t mean the farmers are offered just a few buckets, or wheelbarrow-fuls, every few weeks.

Sometimes there is up to 1,000 kilograms of used grain that, if not given to producers and gardeners, would end up where it shouldn’t be – in the landfill.

“It is a massive amount of waste if not used in some other fashion,” said Konkin. “Pigs love it. It can be used as fertilizer, and we even have someone making dog treats from it.”

Even Konkin’s mom stops by on the occasional brewing day to pick up a few buckets of spent grain for her garden. She finds her flowers come up even brighter when the grain is mulched in with other composted organics.

“My husband figured that one out,” said Gail Konkin, with a smile.

On a bigger scale, there’s another waste reduction project – called organics waste diversion – that is picking up steam in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).

Over the years, locals may recall hearing about the plan for curbside pick up of certain food scraps. This would mean that countless kilos of organics could be re-purposed – like a big regional compost – instead of being dumped in the landfill and left to rot alongside household garbage that may not have re-use value.

Last week the regional board approved, in principle, “the partnership with the Regional District of Central Kootenay in that the RDKB will supply and/or direct collected organic food waste from the McKelvey Creek Watershed to the Central Landfill facility once the organics processing infrastructure is constructed and operational and by no later than the end of 2022.”

What does this mean in laymen’s terms?

“The committee just approved a two- phase plan,” clarified Trail Coun. Robert Cacchioni, the city’s regional director.

“One is to update the Grand Forks facility to accommodate all the (organic) waste from the boundary area,” he explained.

“The second phase is to partner with central Kootenay with an application to provide organic diversion to the East End.”

This recommendation will be going to the board on April 24.

“… diversion will eliminate about 40 per cent of the waste going into the East End landfill and this will extend the life of the landfill by 40 per cent,” Cacchioni said.

“The committee has done considerable work and has committed to moving the project ahead as soon as possible. It’s something the residents have asked for for a long time … the extension of the landfill lifetime will save millions of dollars for future residents not only of the East End but of the entire regional district.”

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes recognition in more than 193 countries.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Rick Malcolm, owner of Rainbow Recovery Farm in Casino. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Rick Malcolm, owner of Rainbow Recovery Farm in Casino. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Helping to unload spent grains is one of the many jobs for Sheri Konkin on brewing days at the Trail Beer Refinery. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Helping to unload spent grains is one of the many jobs for Sheri Konkin on brewing days at the Trail Beer Refinery. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Instead of going into the garbage bin, old bread from the Trail food bank literally goes to the pigs instead. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Instead of going into the garbage bin, old bread from the Trail food bank literally goes to the pigs instead. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Just Posted

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File Photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Visit to Kluskus (Lhoosk’us):Part 2

As dark descended on this five-horse outfit, we found a place to camp

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in South Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Jim Hilton took a trip to Helmcken falls in Wells Gray park. (Jim Hilton Photo)
HILTON: Forests and human health, Part one

What can Quesnel take away from worldwide forestry programs

Mitch Love played his minor hockey in Quesnel before moving to the WHL and beginning his coaching career. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Mitch Love, Team Canada, come up one game short

The Quesnel-born coach helped lead Canada to a silver medal at the World Juniors

Amy Newman (left) and castmate Rebecca Thackray parading around Barkerville in costume in 2018. Newman designed both gowns, which were both made of silk, and constructed her own gown. Thackray’s gown was made by a seamstress in Vancouver. Her camel-coloured velveteen cloak was made in Hong Kong, with pattern and fabric chosen by Newman. Her wool neckpiece/shawl was crocheted by a friend on Vancouver Island. The reticule/handbag was handmade by Newman, and her olive green shawl was ready-made, as were her elegant green leather gloves. (Photo Submitted)
Amy Newman wins international costume design award for Nam Sing film

The Nam Sing pack trip re-enactment took place in September 2019 in Barkerville

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read