Monday, September 17, 2007

Organic Recycling on the Way?

From the Ottawa Sun.

In a report obtained by the Sun, which is expected to be released today, city staff is recommending the city start recycling your kitchen scraps by March 1, 2009.

That's about six months later than council agreed to earlier this year when it instructed staff to move ahead with the program, but is the earliest the company selected to collect the wet waste can be up and running. Staff is recommending the city's planning and environment committee award the 20-year recycling contract to Orgaworld Canada Ltd, a Netherlands-based recycling operation.

Staff is recommending the green boxes be picked up every week and residual waste every two weeks.

"Biweekly pick-up of the remaining 20% should not be problematic because the residual waste is neither bulky nor odourous, with the exception of disposable diapers," the report says.

With a $25-million start-up cost, almost half going towards purchasing the green bins, the annual operating cost for taxpayers will be $13.4 million, which equals an additional $38 on every municipal tax bill. The $25-million cost will come out of the city's waste reserve fund, but the additional cost to taxpayers won't begin until the program starts in 2009.

The city has been working on a green box program for several years in an effort to divert 60% of its waste away from area landfills. Currently, Ottawa residents generate 330,000 tonnes of waste annually, and 27% of that is kitchen waste. With its black and blue box and leaf and yard waste pickups, the city diverts 32% of waste from area dumps.

In 2001, council initiated a green box pilot project that included 5,300 households. The program yielded a 49% diversion rate -- 15% higher than the city average.

Orgaworld will be responsible for building and maintaining its processing plant and is in the process of buying a nine-hectare piece of property north of the city's Trail Rd. landfill.

The report suggests households that participate in the green, blue and black box programs will produce two or fewer bags of residual waste every two weeks.

"Jurisdictions that have moved to bi-weekly collection of residual waste tend to experience higher participation rates in their organics and recycling programs," the report says.

The city anticipates it will save money by picking up the residual waste every two weeks but first has to renegotiate with the collection companies.

The program will include all urban households and rural villages.

Alternatively, buy a weiner dog. Table scraps will be a thing of the past. Of course, you have a whole other kind of waste to deal with...

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