Perfect waste management

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by: 

Sheila McCrindle

There is an old saying among environmentalist “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  This applies whenever solutions to environmental problems are being devised. Especially solutions involving human behaviour.  It means that just because a solution is not perfect does not mean it is not good.  Dealing with household organic waste is just such an example.

  There are definitely challenges to composting organic waste at home, but they are not insurmountable.  Plant wastes are pretty easy to compost, a decent composting bin the occasional turning over of the material in it and removal of good compost at the bottom.  Anyone who can separate their waste into a special bin and take that bin to the edge of the road is already doing the same amount of work.  But, you might ask, what about animal food scraps, bones and fat and the like, they don’t go in most composters.  And that is right, composting animal scraps is challenging and requires more expensive composting equipment.  But this is where we get to the perfect being the enemy of the good.  If it is good to home-compost plant material, is it good enough?

It is helpful to have some numbers.  Thanks to Recic-Quebec, we can look at a waste characterization study done for the MRC de Robert-Cliché, a region with characteristics similar to MoP.

The results of the study indicated that organic waste made up between 43 and 64% of the waste generated by households and 30% of the waste generated by farms.  However almost all of that material is garden waste and household waste that can be composted at home (their terminology).  The volume of waste not suitable for backyard composting ranged from 0.5% to 6% for households and was 0% for farms.

So if the vast amount of organic waste can be composted at home, why is this not the preferred solution for our Municipality?  It is seems expensive to send big trucks hundreds of kms, emitting pollution and damaging roads in order to get 1 or 2% of household waste.  Are we letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?

Coda: It is worth noting that perfect diversion rarely happens, even after years of curbside collection of recyclables about 20 – 25% of our garbage stream is material that should be in the recycle bin.

Footnote: The Waste Characterization Study for MRC de Robert-Cliché has been shared with all of the Municipal Councillors and the Mayor. If you are interested in seeing the whole report just ask one of them.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Smoke signals: fire signs come down across MoP

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by: 

Kate Aley

So.

I was driving from Shawville to Quyon recently and noticed that the fire danger sign at the intersection of Clarendon St. and Hwy. 148 is gone. Not just taken down for repairs. It's gone, gone, gone for good.

Nouveau panneau du Club Lions a fait son apparition

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Image: Kate Aley

Je me pose la question à savoir pourquoi le panneau du Club Lions sur la route 148 est-il en anglais seulement et pourquoi a-t-il été autorisé à être installé seulement en anglais?  À ce que je sache les panneaux sur nos routes provinciales doivent être en français ou bilingue??

The Highway 148 Effect

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We have a smooth, fast highway for a country road. Now, at the end of June, when most roads are still pockmarked after the long winter and the rainy spring, we are a ribbon of road that invites stupidity. Some people blame the road, but it is not the road that is dangerous, it's the drivers. They are in an excessive hurry, they pass on double lines and on blind corners, they are on their phones, they've had a few drinks, they are high, they are possibly not even licensed drivers. 

Dès 2018, des aînés ayant besoin de transports pour recevoir des soins médicaux seront laissés à eux-mêmes partout au Québec

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Pour la municipalité de Pontiac, cela signifie:

  • 60 utilisateurs touchés

  • 1500 transport par année

Ce sera à l'ordre du jour au prochain conseil municipal.


Cantley, jeudi le 29 juin 2017 – La Table autonome des aînés des Collines est sous le choc face à la décision du Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec de ne plus financer les transports effectués par des bénévoles partout au Québec et ce, dès 2018.

In 2018, seniors who need transportation for medical appointments will be left to fend for themselves everywhere in the province of Quebec

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For the Municipality of Pontiac this means:

  • 60 users affected

  • 1500 travels per year

It will be on the next municipal council agenda.


Cantley, Thursday June 29th, 2017 – The Des Collines Seniors’ Roundtable is shocked at the decision of the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec to stop financing transportation provided by volunteers everywhere in the province of Quebec from 2018.

Quyon Maison de la Famille: standing strong and shining brightly

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by: 

Kate Aley

That's about the size of it! Executive Director Catherine Beaudet stretches her arms wide in happiness and gratitude as she describes the past year of events and achievements at the Quyon Maison de la Famille's annual general meeting on June 20.

From left: ED Catherine Beaudet with board members Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert and Sara-Lynn McCann.

The Maison de la Famille de Quyon (MdlFQ) continues to be a remarkable and vital mainstay in this community. In her AGM notes, Beaudet compared the Centre to a lighthouse which stands and shines over the community of Pontiac.

PMP picnic was pure pleasure

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by: 

Kate Aley

Kids and their adults came in droves to the third annual Parents of the Municipality of Pontiac (PMP) picnic event, held at the Community Centre in Luskville on June 17. There was art, there was craft, there were bubbles to blow, a mini-bouncy castle to pounce on and three -- count them, THREE -- fire engines to climb on. AND snacks! What more could the under-5 set ask for?

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