Composting doesn’t just help the environment, it also saves money. Bruce and Heather Barbour, owners of the IGA franchise in MIC MAC Mall in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), Nova Scotia found this out recently. Rather than wait for the provincial ban on compostable organics in November, the local grocers decided to start composting this spring.
After looking at their garbage, they quickly found out 75 per cent of their waste was organic and could be easily composted. “We are now doing our part for the environment. It’s easy and we’re saving money,” says Bruce Barbour.
The reason for the savings is simple. Tipping fees for garbage in the HRM are now $100 per tonne and are expected to rise. Tipping fees for compostable organics, however, are half that price. Hauling of the Barbour’s waste is done by Royal Disposal. Given the price at HRM’s transfer station, Kevin Clowater of Royal Disposal says, “I can offer far better prices for hauling organics than I can for regular garbage, thanks to the new composting facility in Sackville.”
Royal Disposal and IGA decided to compost organics at The Good Earth Organic Resources Ltd. which has been involved in compost-making for the past year. The operation offers lower tipping fees for pure organics than for garbage sent to the landfill.
The ban on the disposal of organics is beginning November 30, 1998. Organic waste is primarily responsible for leachate and greenhouse gas emissions from our landfills. It is also made up of over 50 per cent moisture which makes it a poor fuel for incinerators. By composting, disposal problems are avoided and a natural treasure is created–compost. Sustainable jobs are also being created in the process.
Written by Barry Friesen, P. Eng., the solid waste-resource manager for the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment.