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County wants to know what you do with your food waste

The municipality seeks input on how people deal with their food waste and the future of the organics program in the County as staff evaluate options.

The ‘green bin’ program started in the County in 2013 and has been called the most expensive of waste collection in the municipality. There is also desire to reduce food waste going to landfill where methane gas builds, and return to encouraging people to create backyard compost. The report is also to include how to address leaf, yard waste and brush at waste sites, including the potential for on-site composting and a pilot program to make mulch available to the public. Staff will also report on an education campaign to reduce illegal dumping as costs to provide free dump days, or opening waste sites more often, have been called prohibitive.

Last month, a representative of a ‘FoodCyler’ kitchen compost machine asked council to explore joining its municipal subsidy program where the County would pay a subsidy of $25,000 for 200 households (plus shipping and taxes) that would allow residents to purchase the $500 machines for $175. There could also be a 10 per cent availabilty for $50 machines to help people in need of assistance to purchase. These, it was pointed out, would be popular for people in apartments, or for those who do not like using green bins.

Green bins, it was noted, are the preferred solution for larger cities where dense housing and large processing facilities generate economies of scale.

Landfill is the easiest solution out-of-sight, out-of-mind for consumers but there are high emissions, particularly methane and have a long-term environmental hazard requiring monitoring and maintenance.

Currently, green bin organic waste is collected weekly on residents’ regularly-scheduled garbage pick-up day. A bag tag is not required for green bin collection. The program is not available for commercial use, large-scale public facilities or apartment buildings.

What is collected in the County goes to the Lafleche Composting Facility located in Moose Creek, Ontario for processing.

The survey, which will take approximately five minutes to fill out, will help staff prepare recommendations to council in a report expected at the Committee of the Whole Thursday, June 9, with recommendations and a summary of consultation findings.

The survey will remain open until 4 pm on Tuesday, May 24. Residents can click here to fill out the survey online through the County’s online engagement site, Have Your Say. Hard copies are also available at the municipal offices located at The Edward Building customer service desk (280 Picton Main Street, Suite 103) Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm.

 

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  1. B Wilder says:

    I completed the survey. I am not sure that it will provide much useful information. Currently the program costs about $300,000.00 a year to operate. If user fees were to be imposed, I suspect that most people would simply put the organics into their regular garbage. There is a reason that the organics are shipped a long distance for processing. There is no economic case to be made for a local processing facility. There would be upfront capital costs. There would be staffing costs and the material would still have to be collected. The County seems to spend in excess of $300,000.00 every year for consultant reports some of which are never acted upon. At least the organics collection costs produce some benefit.

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