Residential composting bins on the horizon for Vaudreuil-Soulanges residents
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
‘Off the plate and into the bin,’ brown bin composting handles household food waste, including animal and dairy products, that wouldn’t normally be put into a backyard compost pile.
Composting food waste is about to become a reality for some Vaudreuil-Soulanges residents in 2018. The composting program that uses brown bins has been part of the urban scene in the Greater Montreal region since 2008 and is an integral element of the province-wide effort to reduce the amount of waste material destined for landfills or incinerators.
What goes into the bin?
Described as off the plate and into the bin, this type of composting handles household food waste such as meat, poultry flesh and bones, fish and bones, seafood and shells, fruit, vegetables, grain products such as pasta, bread, cereal, cake, and rice. It also takes care of eggs and eggshells, coffee grounds, paper filters, tea and tea bags, solid dairy products such as cheese, butter and yogurt, nuts and their shells, pet food, cookies, sweets, desserts, spices and herbs. The system also accepts soiled paper and cardboard such as tissues, paper towels, napkins, paper tablecloths, paper dishes, pizza and chicken boxes and cardboard fruit baskets without the handles.
Setting up the system
“It’s a complicated situation and it’s different for each municipality,” said Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) Communications Director Simon Richard in an interview on Monday, April 16. He described how each of the 23 municipalities in the county are responsible for organizing and implementing the introduction of the program from raising awareness to distributing the brown bins and collecting the materials and delivering them to the composting centre. He said the MRC-VS is responsible for organizing the contract for composting the collected material. According to Richard, a company in Lachute, Quebec was awarded the contract to carry out the composting procedure.
PHOTO BY MARCO SECCHI/UNSPLASH
While some gardeners are impatient with the amount of time it takes for eggshells to decompose in backyard compost piles, they are one of the many organic waste products that can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner when the Vaudreuil-Soulanges towns roll out their brown bin programs this year.
There are, however, plans to create a composting centre within the MRC-VS. “That’s in the discussion stage,” said Richard describing it as a long-term plan for the region in which residents would have access to low-cost compost for their gardening projects.
For the Town of Rigaud, the introduction of the program is scheduled to begin in September 2018. The plan, initially focused on residential addresses, was included in the town’s 2018 budget presented at the end of February for an amount of $344,660, which was cause for concern for some residents. Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. responded at the time that it was all part of the provincial plan to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.
“We are planning on launching a citizen awareness campaign in September 2018 followed by distribution of the collection bins in January 2019,” said Town of Saint-Lazare Communications Director Geneviève Hamel. She said contracts for the collection of materials were also part of the process of initiating the program.
According to Communications Officer for the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion Jessica Genest, their composting program is scheduled to begin in October 2018. “The first phase will be for residences,” said Genest adding that meant single-family residences, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes would be receiving the composting bins.
With 2020 the targeted year for the provincial government to stop collecting household garbage, other towns are expected to roll out their own compost collection plans in the near future. NDIP's Brigade Zéro is inviting residents to join the ‘Zero Waste’ movement and will be distributing the brown bins to its residents this summer.