When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

Categories: 

by: 

Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady


Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and eventually a “ban” of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020.  Municipalities who comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs.   The Municipality of Pontiac has responded by passing a resolution to initiate door to door collection with costs paid for by the residents. 

We spoke with Philippe Coulombe, the person in charge of the province’s Residual Materials Strategy, and he indicated that the Ministry is aware that a 100% organics diversion target will pose challenges for rural communities. Currently the target for organic diversion is set at 70% for 2019. The Province will be holding further consultations and rural municipalities still have the ability to propose better solutions than following the urban model.

Now we have nothing against composting. Like many people, we have been composting for decades. It is pretty easy to do, keeps down the amount of garbage we put out and we get fertilizer for the garden. We are all for composting. We just can’t see the benefit of trucks going door to door to collect it when sometimes there are several kilometers between doors.

Pontiac had a population of 5,850 in 2016, just a little over the arbitrary cut-off for being a small municipality. The actual population density for Pontiac, which is what matters when costing a trucking route, is 13 people per square kilometer. By comparison the Municipality of Chelsea, with a population of just 1000 more people, has a population density of 61 people per square kilometre.

The first problem with collecting organic waste in a mostly rural community is that a lot of households already compost their plant waste. So there is not much stuff to collect.

The second problem with curbside collection, when the population is so dispersed, is that the negative impacts associated with garbage trucks travelling hundreds of kilometers a week starts to outweigh the benefits of removing organic waste from the waste stream.

The third and in our view most offensive problem with this scheme is that people who are already composting and doing a good thing for the environment and the economy will be asked to pay the bill for people who are not composting. This flies in the face of the Polluter Pay Principle, which is supposed to guide waste management policy in Quebec.

What is the Solution?

  1. Encourage home composting. Providing state of the art composting bins to every household in the Municipality will be cheaper in the long-run than ongoing collection. Implement an education program to teach people to compost at home.
  2. For residents who do not want to compost at home, a system of centralized collection bins should be investigated, so that trucks are not driving to houses to pick up nothing.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Quebec’s anticorruption unit investigating contracts between school board and construction company

Categories: 

Western Quebec School Board Director of Buildings and Transportation Colin O’Shea has been placed on “administrative leave” with pay, as Quebec’s Permanent Anticorruption Unit (UPAC) investigates a link between the school board and 31 contracts worth $33 million awarded to GMR Construction and Toitures Marcel Raymond over the past 10 years. The majority of these contracts were signed by O’Shea himself.

Collision entre un train et un autobus: six morts

Categories: 

Une violente collision entre un train de VIA Rail et un autobus à deux étages d'OC Transpo a fait au moins six morts et une trentaine de blessés, mercredi matin à Ottawa, en pleine heure de pointe.

L'accident est survenu à un passage à niveau, à la hauteur de l'avenue Woodroffe et du chemin Fallowfield, non loin de la station de transport en commun du même nom, vers 8h50, dans le secteur Barrhaven.

Via Rail train, Ottawa city bus crash leaves 6 dead

Categories: 

A crash between a Via Rail train and a double-decker transit bus in Ottawa has resulted in six deaths, including the bus driver, and left 30 injured.

The OC Transpo bus Route 76, destined for downtown Ottawa, was travelling north on the Transitway when it collided with Train 51, which came from Montreal and was heading west to Toronto.

Ancient landslides offer clues to powerful earthquake that rattled Ottawa

Categories: 

Very close to 1000 AD, an earthquake estimated at a magnitude of 6.1 — or possibly stronger — shook this region enough to cause 10 major landslides.

One of them, at Quyon, covered an area of 31 square kilometres stretching back from the Ottawa River along the Quyon River valley.

And scientist Gregory Brooks, who studied the slides, says the same seismic conditions are present today.

That means a big earthquake like the one Brooks studies, though very rare, could happen again.

Les citoyens du secteur d'Aylmer débattent

Categories: 

«Il faut intégrer tous les modes de transport dans le secteur d'Aylmer. On a besoin dun plan de déplacement et aussi créer un comité permanent sur le transport à la Ville. Avec ça, on pourra mieux préparer et structurer les idées pour les mettre en oeuvre», a indiqué M. Powles.

Pour ce qui touche au développement résidentiel, les participants étaient nombreux à faire mention de l'aspect patrimonial. Le secteur d'Aylmer est le seul à avoir conservé un «bon état de son passé».

Pages