Composting project proposed for Kincardine



By Barb McKay


Kincardine could be the focus of a pilot project for a community organics collection program.


Representatives from the Compost Council of Canada attended the Municipality of Kincardine council meeting held Dec. 20 to talk about its plan to initiate a study to look at the potential for community organics collection programs in small municipalities. To do the study, the council needs to partner with a municipality that would be willing to try it out.


Larry Conrad, national chair of the Compost Council of Canada, told council that the driving force behind the study is the recent move by Premier Kathleen Wynne to direct the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to come up with a new waste management framework for the province with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Cities with populations of more than 50,000 will likely be required to implement a curbside collection program for organic waste, Conrad said, but while smaller communities will not be mandated to do the same they will have to keep the waste out of landfills by other means such as community composting or home composting.


The question then becomes, how do small municipalities collect and process yard and food waste efficiently and economically? Conrad said that is what the Compost Council of Canada hopes to answer through the study. The study will look at how to build support for a community collection program, how to implement it, how to process the material collected and how to keep costs down. Conrad said the government has implied that there would be funding through the Climate Change Action Fund available for a pilot project.


“They suggested that if we could find a municipality to work with us they’d be willing to fund it.”


The study team would be made up of Conrad, Compost Council of Canada Executive Director Susan Antler, researcher Glenn Munroe and representatives from Kincardine council and the public works department. Conrad said the council would not require any monetary support from the municipality but would be looking for municipal staff to dedicate time to a two-year pilot project.


Councillor Maureen Couture said she has discussed the need for green collection previously.


“BASWR (Bruce Area Solid Waste Recycling) is not set up for that kind of thing. I think it’s a unique idea and I’m quite excited about it.”


Councillor Laura Haight said her concern is that the municipality might be too small for the initiative and it would depend on funding from the province. But, she said she supports having a meeting with staff to discuss it further.


Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Faubert said one of the complaints she receives from constituents is about the inability to compost.


“I think there are some people who would be over the moon about this.”


She added that there may be some farms in the municipality that could take the waste that is collected. She also volunteered to participate on the study team if the initiative goes ahead.


Conrad said they would like to move forward fairly early in the new year.