While neighbouring municipalities are well into collecting organic
waste aimed for regional composting centres, Beaconsfield has decided
to focus its efforts on home composting.
Beaconsfield recently awarded a $24,500 contract to a consulting
firm to prepare a communication strategy to identify 300 homeowners who
would be willing to take part in a pilot project expected to start next
Beaconsfield has opted to look into the home composting project as
an alternative to furnishing its residents with rolling bins for weekly
food and green waste collections now under way in other local
municipalities, said councillor Wade Staddon, who heads Beaconsfield’s
environmental advisory committee.
“Where the project is now, we are about to do a trial on the concept
involving 300 homes in Beaconsfield,” he said. “This consulting firm
will help us choose those homes and to also help train and get
residents on board and to monitor the success of it.”
Staddon said the project will involve different sections of the city.
About 20 residents have already been trained to be “master
composters,” Staddon mentioned. “We’ve given them a two-day course to
bring up their skills and to make sure they are all on the same level
and they received free composters. In return, they have promised to
give their own time to help others to start composting.”
The city is looking at home composting as a cost-effective
replacement to weekly organic waste collections, Staddon said. Since
Beaconsfield picks up household garbage only once a week as it is,
there is no opportunity to cut back a collection day to compensate for
an organic waste program as a number of other West Island
municipalities have done in the past year or so. Aside from the cost of
collecting organic waste on a regular basis, the city would also have
to spend about $400,000 to supply its residents with rolling bins if it
went that route, he added.
At the moment, organic waste collected in participating West Island
municipalities is transported by truck off Montreal Island, to a
composting facility in Joliette, Staddon pointed out.
Montreal is currently planning to set up two regional composting
centres to serve the agglomeration, including one in St-Laurent after a
proposed Dorval site near the airport fell through last year.
“That’s still years away,” Staddon said of Montreal’s objective to
open its own composting centres. “So that gives us a window of
opportunity to trial this and see if (home composting) is a viable
option for our city. We feel it could give us savings and we could also
pass those savings onto the citizens.”
However, Staddon said the possibility of tax breaks for home
composting in Beaconsfield is a long-term ideal and could only be
drafted after the results of the pilot project are studied. “We would
try to change people’s garbage containers to various sizes, like we do
with recycling, and people’s garbage taxes would be sort of based on
their garbage container,” he said, adding similar programs exist in
several jurisdictions outside of Quebec.
Beaconsfield offers its residents subsidized composting units for $30 through Hub Hardware in Beaurepaire Village.
Meanwhile, Dollard-des- Ormeaux and Kirkland began regular curbside
collections of food and green waste this summer and Dorval started its
program just over a year ago.
Pointe-Claire rolled out its organic waste bins as a pilot project
in 2007 and went citywide to all single-family homes, duplexes and
townhouses this past spring. In 2010, Pointe-Claire’s program collected
about 600 tonnes of green waste for an average of 400 kilograms of
green waste per participating single-family household. The city boasts
that its recovery rate for this category of materials increased by 304
per cent between 2007 and 2010.
Pointe-Claire also encourages its residents to compost at home and
offers compositors for $25. The city also released a pamphlet
explaining the home composting process.
For more information, check under the public works link on the
city’s website or click on www. ville.pointeclaire.qc.ca/library/