Carbonear considers community composting
Town wants review of shared services with neighbouring municipalities
Once a week, thousands of Carbonear residents leave bags of garbage at the curb or in their wooden garbage boxes for pick up.
Every second week, the recycling truck makes its rounds, picking up thousands of bags of cans, bottles and cardboard.
It’s a hefty amount that gets trucked to Robin Hood Bay in St. John’s at a cost of some $65 per tonne for garbage and $20 per tonne of recycling.
Coun. David Kennedy was one of a few councillors who discussed the idea of decreasing the town’s wastage at a recent council meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 21.
“It was noted that in the future the town could perhaps set up composting to handle household compost material, as well as grass clippings and the leaves in the fall,” Kennedy told The Compass following the meeting.
Right now, leaves and grass get transferred to the Robin Hood Bay facility as well. But Kennedy thinks it’s unnecessary since they are compostable.
He believes such a service will save the town a lot of money due to the saved tonnage of waste.
Other advantages Kennedy cites include giving residents, including those who operate the community garden, “excellent soil” and “making Carbonear an environmentally friendly community.”
Town administrator Cynthia Davis said she would look into the option, to see if it is feasible to have communal composting in the town.
Kennedy would like to see more information, and if feasible, they should try to put something in place.
The Multi-Materials Stewartship Board (MMSB) has put two pilot projects in motion in the past five years, including one in Holyrood in 2009 and the other in the Town of Grand Bank in 2012.
In both places, composting materials were picked up and trucked to a central location.
The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor also has a project underway, which requires locals to drop off their compostable items at the town’s recreation depot. These residents would also be able to come get soil if they need it.
It is unknown at this time how Carbonear would proceed with the project.
If the project goes ahead, Kennedy would like to see it incorporated into the new town depot located in the industrial park on Goff Avenue. Shared services At the meeting, it appeared many of the councillors were also interested in revisiting the idea of shared services with other municipalities.
Carbonear, as one of the largest municipalities in the region, is open to learning more about working with their neighbouring communities to the benefit of everyone involved.
“The only fear is we can approach Salmon Cove, Victoria, Harbour Grace and Spaniard’s Bay about shared services, but without knowing what can be shared,” Kennedy told the group. “If somebody came out and did an independent study on shared services, we could look at moving forward.”
Some examples that were presented included the local fire departments, which already help each other when necessary, municipal enforcement and public works tenders.
Sharing road salt is a big thing, said Coun. Ed Goff. Coun. Ray Noel
“If somebody came out and did an independent study on shared services, we could look at moving
forward.” — David Kennedy
“That’s something that we can’t afford not to be involved in,” Noel said.
“Of course the study would ask all municipalities how services could be shared and how money can be saved,” Kennedy said. “Yet, a study would also note what services are shared across the province and country.
“Being an independent study it would not be one sided or lop-sided but thorough and transparent.”
The town is looking at how to proceed with a study at little to no cost for taxpayers.