District of Guysborough set to move, modernize its compost facilities
The Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) is working to make sure its waste treatment infrastructure is a well-oiled machine. According to Warden Vernon Pitts, that process includes consolidating the waste treatment facility and its composting facility into one location.
The MODG plans to move its compost facility from its current location, to the location of its main treatment facility.
"Presently, the compost facility is at our first-generation site. The buildings are dilapidated, and we want to move it onto the second-generation site," Pitts said.
The new buildings at the second-generation site will be more efficient, with better equipment in place than is present at the first-generation site. One example Pitts used was the way compost is turned at the present site.
While at the present site, loaders, back-hoes and bobcats are used to turn the material, Pitts said the second-generation site will have a machine in place to automatically turn compost.
"We decided to move it to the second-generation site, so it’s all fully contained," Pitts said.
"We’re not leaving the site with any leachate or organic material. We’ll have better control (at the second-generation site)."
The second-generation site will also feature new technology to help take advantage of one of the byproducts of composting – a gas collection system.
The MODG has awarded tender to Van Zutphen Contracting, to cap and collect gas from the second-generation site.
"We have the piping in place to collect methane from the site now. We’re going to capture that and we’re not really sure what we’re going to do with it yet,"
Pitts said. "We may sell it, or use it on site."
One of the most noteworthy changes to be seen at the secondgeneration site in the coming year, Pitts noted, will be a flare stack for methane.
"That’s a special piece of equipment, and it’s being manufactured as we speak," Pitts said, adding that the flare stack will be the last piece of the project to be installed at the second- generation site.
Infrastructure preparations are also underway. Asphalt pads have already been prepared at the second-generation site for the new buildings for the compost facility.
"We’re thinking ahead," Pitts explained. "We usually plan a couple of years down the road, thinking about what we can potentially do to help the environment."
Another benefit from the collection of methane gas is the potential for the earning of carbon credits. Once the proper infrastructure is in place, the MODG and Van Zutphen will be able to collect about 70,000 tons of methane per year.
"I would expect there would be carbon credits in conjunction with that, which would be a winwin situation for our municipality and for the environment," Pitts said.
As part of that move, the MODG has sought the assistance of the provincial and federal governments, through grant money, to help with the transition of the compost facility. At a recent council meeting, the members of the MODG council decided to look for federal and provincial funding for the project.
Pitts said the second-generation landfill site is completely self-contained, with any leachate that is produced being shipped out and treated offsite. It is the second largest second-generation solid waste treatment facility in the province.
"Nothing is leaving that site," Pitts said, referring to the secondgeneration site. "It will be better to control [compost and solid waste together], if it’s all there. We handle all aspects of solid waste, from contaminated soils right up to garbage."
The MODG accepts solid waste from a variety of clients across the province "from Colchester County to Meat Cove," Pitts noted.
These clients include 17 municipal units on Cape Breton Island, and the eastern mainland. According to information on the MODG’S website, its waste management facility serves about 23,000 Nova Scotians.