Waste Management Series – part three - Composting

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Added: Wed, 12/19/2018 - 6:21pm
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Darlene Pashak

MRC PONTIAC – Welcome to the “ROT”ten segment in the waste management series, one of the many “R’s” that help divert garbage from landfills. Backyard composting is both an effective and efficient method that results in rich, fertile earth for gardens.
On November 14 at L’Ancienne Banque in L'Isle-aux-Allumettes, Geneviéve Carrier and Ayoub Hammoudi from Enviro Éduc-Action presented strategies to divert garbage from landfills; composting can divert up to 44%, according to a Recyc-Québec study.
The presenters identified four kinds of composters: outdoor domestic, outdoor municipal (requires a dense population to be profitable), domestic indoor/outdoor machine tumbler and a community composter. The municipality of Litchfield has a community composter, which can handle a variety of food waste, including meat and bones.
A composting plant exists in Moose Creek, ON, but taking the materials there is less desirable than home composting due to the carbon footprint of transportation.
Advice for home composting from Environ Éduc-Action: build home composters with reusable and environmentally friendly materials like wood; add sand to the compost to repel animals, because they won’t eat it.
DO compost rotting leaves, grass clippings, bread, rice, pasta, dead plants, fruit and vegetable peelings/waste, shredded newspaper.
DO NOT compost meat, bones and milk products to avoid attracting animals, nor plastic, metal, glass, fatty foods like mayonnaise, vegetable oils and salad
dressings, animal excrement nor contaminated materials.
Public entities like schools, municipalities and volunteer organizations are encouraged to set good examples: ask people to bring their own
dishes and utensils; set up recycling and compost bins; follow Dr. Wilbert Keon School’s lead— use reusable glasses and jugs of water instead of water bottles, and install a water refill station.
Provincial grants are available for municipalities with less than 5,000 people
to establish community composting.
Digesters
In some municipalities, e.g. Chichester and L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, residents can
purchase a Green Cone at a reduced price instead of ordering from Compostec’s website. As explained by Compostec:
“The Green Cone was invented in Ontario to sustainably and efficiently get rid
of kitchen waste without interference from animals. It quickly digests almost all-organic waste with minimal effort and odour. In a sunny spot with good drainage, it can digest about four kilograms/week in the summer. It slows down in below freezing temperatures and hibernates in frigid temperatures.”
The benefits to adding a digester to backyard composting are numerous. It manages all kitchen waste including meat, dairy, oil, seafood and pet waste. No need for stirring or frequent emptying, and it holds in smells.