Keep it in the bin

Com­mu­ni­ties look to di­vert waste from Robin Hood Bay

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties in the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion re­gion are hop­ing the Multi-Ma­te­ri­als Stew­ard­ship Board (MMSB) will fol­low through on plans to rein­tro­duce a pro­gram of­fer­ing low-cost com­post­ing bins to the pub­lic through mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

In a let­ter dated Dec. 13, busi­ness devel­op­ment of­fi­cer Ashley Burke wrote that MMSB is re­search­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of start­ing a new back­yard-com­post­ing pro­gram that would in­vite towns to sell com­post­ing bins to res­i­dents at a cost of $21.99. The cost is greatly re­duced com­pared to re­tails prices rang­ing from $50 to $100. Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties would have to or­der at least 50 bins.

Carol Ann Carter, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for MMSB, says of the 285 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties con­tacted, 50 expressed in­ter­est in pur­chas­ing a to­tal of al­most 4,000 com­post bins.

“ We’re re­ally happy,” says Carter, adding the pro­gram will now seek ap­proval from the board at its next meet­ing on Jan. 28, with a roll­out of bins ex­pected shortly there­after.

At its Jan. 11 coun­cil meet­ing, the Town of Car­bon­ear unan­i­mously voted to or­der 100 bins should the pro­gram go ahead. Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were asked to re­spond by Jan. 17. “ The com­post­ing part of it is great for the town, be­cause there’s less weight go­ing to Robin Hood Bay,” says Mayor Sam Slade.

Towns pay $51 per tonne of waste sent to the dump­site op­er­ated by the East­ern Waste Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee. That fee will in­crease to $65.50 per tonne in April, with re­cy­clables only cost­ing $20 per tonne if they are sep­a­rated from other forms of waste. On top of those charges are fees as­so­ci­ated with trans­port­ing the waste to Robin Hood Bay, which is lo­cated near the east end of St. John’s.

Ac­cord­ing to MMSB, or­ganic waste ac­counts for 30 per cent of all waste in the prov­ince. There­fore, the more peo­ple with their own com­post­ing bins, the less waste sent to the dumps. This would leave mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties with more money to spend on other ser­vices.

Car­bon­ear town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis says that when a sim­i­lar pro­gram was op­er­ated by MMSB, it was well re­ceived lo­cally.

“ We had a num­ber of peo­ple that ac­tu­ally came back af­ter the pro­gram fin­ished look­ing for the com­posters, but they were no longer avail­able,” she says, es­ti­mat­ing ap­prox­i­mately 100 bins were sold at the time. “ We think it will be re­ceived well.”

When the bins were pre­vi­ously sold in Car­bon­ear, Davis says res­i­dents were only al­lowed to pur­chase one, even though some were in­ter­ested in pur­chas­ing a sec­ond com­poster.

In Bay Roberts, mem­bers of coun­cil spoke glow­ingly of the idea dur­ing a reg­u­lar meet­ing on Jan. 11.

“It’s a small start, and if it doesn’t work, we’re not out a lot of money,” says Bay Roberts town councillor Melvin Walsh.

Heart’s Con­tent-Is­ling­ton mayor Den­zil Shep­pard says his town is also com­mit­ted to the pro­gram.

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