Yesterday staff brought council a proposal for a pilot program for green bins in apartments, industrial and commercial, also restaurants. You would never know that by the headline in the Record, as staff let it slip they are planning to ban compost from the landfill in 2013 or beyond.
This caught us by surprise, having not been mentioned before. Council has the final say with this proposal and we aren’t keen on it at the moment. 30 percent of waste going to the landfill is compostable, but we have only just begun the green bin program.
It seems to me that people and staff and reporters are focusing on waste being diverted from the landfill and sent somewhere else to stop the dump from filling up. Which it will in 20 or so years.
That’s not what it’s all about. The waste includes all things that can be composted. Lettuce leaves, paper towels, egg shells, potato peels, etc. This waste is taken to a composting facility where, like the peel or shell that used to fall on the forest floor, it rots into dirt. Very good quality dirt.
This dirt is then used to feed new plants and the circle of ecology continues. When organics go into the landfill in plastic garbage bags, they may not even rot, in anycase, they stay filling up the landfill, no use at all. What a waste.
My concerns yesterday were with the costs of the pilot project if it becomes permanent. As I saw in the composting centre in Whistler, which is only restaurant organics, restaurants create a lot of compostable garbage. We are looking at daily pick up of several bins from each restaurant. The pilot, not so expensive, but I asked staff how much it would cost the taxpayers to have the Region fund the pilot permanently. This is important as presently restaurant waste is trucked away by a company the restaurant pays for.
If compost is banned from the landfill, where will this compost be trucked to by the firm hired by the restaurant? Michigan? A field somewhere?
Or will the region pick up the tab for pick up? A huge cost.
I’m glad this is just a pilot at this stage.