Last year, the township introduced an organic waste program for a pilot area in the Millbrook area which was up for renewal last month.
The program consists of weekly curbside collection of waste material through the use of kitchen catchers and green bins which were purchased with a provincial grant. The program has been very well received by village residents and is estimated to have diverted more than 73 tonnes of waste during the six-month period of November 2019 to May 2020. The green waste is currently delivered to Sus Global in Belleville where it is processed and transformed into high quality compost which is sold as a regulated soil amendment product. Staff requested a contract extension for two more years, but Council opted to extend only until the end of the calendar year, as this service is already included in the current budget. The contract will be reviewed after a more complete analysis leading up to 2021 Budget decisions.
Given the popularity and environmental impact of the program, staff sought ways to extend green waste diversion to the entire community. Peterborough County controls waste management activities delivered in the township, and have organic waste collection units on site in some transfer stations in other locations. After speaking with township staff, County representatives have agreed to deliver two units to our transfer station on Syer Line during the first week of September.
These units, called “Moloks”, are circular storage tanks where residents dispose of their green waste in compostable bags dropped into the units. Peterborough County will cover the cost of these units and will arrange for the pickup and disposal of their contents. Township staff will be responsible for preparing the installation site and communication about the program and advise when units need to be emptied.
While the financial benefit of the existing green waste diversion has been minimal, (a tipping fee savings of $6,935), there are other implications. Any garbage reduction is an environmental win, and waste diverted from the Bensfort landfill site will extend the life of this facility for all users. In the near future, green waste diversion will no longer be optional. Peterborough’s new organic waste composting facility is scheduled for completion at the end of 2023, and we will be expected to contribute- our money and our organic waste. Hopefully the shorter trip for the latter will mean a bit less of the former, but only time will tell. KG