‘Best green cart avail­able’

West Hants’ green bin pro­gram rolling out to growth cen­tres start­ing in April

Valley Journal Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAROLE MOR­RIS- UNDERHILL HANTSJOURNAL. CA carole. mor­ris- underhill@ hantsjournal. ca

West Hants res­i­dents will be re­ceiv­ing ‘ the best green cart’ cur­rently on the mar­ket when the mu­nic­i­pal­ity launches its or­ganic re­cy­cling pro­gram this spring.

Paul Speed, of Speed Eco Prod­ucts, and Chris­tine McClare, West Hants’ waste re­duc­tion co- or­di­na­tor, at­tended West Hants’ com­mit­tee of the whole meet­ing Feb. 27 to pro­vide an up­date on the pro­gram.

The green cart sys­tem will be dis­trib­uted in two waves, with phase one start­ing at the be­gin­ning of April in Fal­mouth, Three Mile Plains and the sur­round­ing ar­eas. Phase two will start in Ar­doise and spread through­out the county in mid- April. The aim is to dis­trib­ute 500 carts daily.

“Gen­er­ally, when we de­liver a cart, we put it six feet up from the curb so that the home­owner knows it’s in their drive­way and ba­si­cally is tak­ing pos­ses­sion of it,” said Speed.

McClare said she will be help­ing to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on the carts lead­ing up to the launch as well as an­swer­ing con­cerns and ques­tions as the roll out oc­curs.

Since coun­cil made the de­ci­sion in 2017, they’ve re­ceived a mixed re­ac­tion from res­i­dents — some peo­ple are pleased, while oth­ers say they’ll never use the green bin. Speed said in his ex­pe­ri­ence, a lot of peo­ple change their mind once they start us­ing them.

“If some­body has con­cerns or doesn’t want the cart or doesn’t feel that they want to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram, our re­sponse is gen­er­ally... that the cart is re­ally a part of the prop­erty. It’s like the me­tre on your house. If you don’t wish to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram, please just take the cart and store it in the back un­til 1) you ei­ther sell the house or 2) you may choose to join into the pro­gram,” said Speed, who in­di­cated he has been in­volved in the de­liv­ery of about three mil­lion green carts in Canada.

“Prob­a­bly 70 per cent of the peo­ple that don’t feel they want to be part of the pro­gram, within Paul Speed, of Speed Eco Prod­ucts, shows off a heavy-duty lid that can be used on West Hants’ new green carts that will help make them bear re­sis­tant. Speed at­tended West Hants’ com­mit­tee of the whole meet­ing Feb. 27, 2018 to ex­plain the up­com­ing roll out of the or­gan­ics re­cy­cling pro­gram in the county.

three weeks, the cart shows up ( road­side, on col­lec­tion day). They see their neigh­bours are do­ing it; they want to do it for their kids; the kids want the carts out there and they want to par­tic­i­pate.”

Speed said the carts that are now be­ing used have vastly im­proved over the decades.

“I’ve been do­ing this for 20 years. You guys are get­ting the best green cart avail­able on the mar­ket,” said Speed.

“It’s been out in Nova Sco­tia for at least four years now and over a third of the prov­ince who have had the ex­pe­ri­ence of the old green carts have switched over to this new cart.”

What about smell, wildlife?

Coun. Jen­nifer Daniels said some of her ru­ral con­stituents are con­cerned that the green bins will at­tract un­wel­come vis­i­tors to the back­yard.

As he show­cased a spe­cial­ized lid for the cart, Speed said the bins are bear-re­sis­tant.

“Bears are at­tracted to the smell. This is the only cart that has an ab­so­lute sealed lid. In fact, this lid was de­signed for a cart that’s filled with hot fryer oil,” he said, not­ing the bins are fre­quently used by restau­rants.

Speed said the carts were

tested at Oak­lawn Farm Zoo in Ayles­ford three years ago and the an­i­mals didn’t de­stroy them.

The cart, con­tain­ing three dozen freshly baked blue­berry muffins, was put in­side the bear en­clo­sure.

“It was a toy,” said Speed. “Then we put it in with the rac­coons. Same thing. They just sat on it.”

He said as long as res­i­dents take care of the cart and do not spill items on the out­side, they shouldn’t have a prob­lem with wildlife.

No com­postable bags al­lowed

Un­like some mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, McClare said West Hants will not be ac­cept­ing com­postable plas­tic bags, which are com­monly used in a smaller kitchen bin be­fore be­ing trans­ferred out­side to the green cart.

“Com­postable plas­tic re­ally does not com­post,” she said.

“I would say the ma­jor­ity of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that have rolled out the com­postable plas­tic, they would not do so again if they were in our po­si­tion to start anew.”

Com­postable pa­per waste bags are an ac­cept­able sub­sti­tute, she said.

As for what can go in­side the

bin, it’s not just fruits, veg­eta­bles and kitchen scraps. Any­thing that is or­ganic — in­clud­ing meat, bones, fat and oils — can be tossed in.

In 1998, the prov­ince banned or­ganic waste and re­cy­clable prod­ucts from land­fills.

“Or­gan­ics have been banned from the land­fill for a very long time,” said McClare.

“Ru­ral mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were per­mit­ted to use back­yard com­post­ing as a means to meet that re­quire­ment, al­though our com­pli­ance has been go­ing down. Fewer folks have been back­yard com­post­ing so we’re see­ing back­yard com­posta­bles go­ing to the land­fill as well as the meat that could not be back­yard com­posted also go­ing to the land­fill.”

McClare said a key part of the pro­gram’s suc­cess is com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion and she is avail­able to an­swer ques­tions or help coun­cil­lors hold in­for­ma­tion ses­sions.

CAROLE MOR­RIS-UNDERHILL

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