The construction of a $30-million composting plant on Burlington Street is a major step toward Hamilton’s goal of diverting 65 per cent of its waste currently sent to its Glanbrook landfill by 2008, according to Beth Goodger, the city’s waste management director.
The facility is set to open next spring and is designed to process 60,000 tonnes of organic material per year. The plant is located at a former Philip Services Corp. yard that was also once home to a Firestone tire factory.
The fully-enclosed plant will be built by Mississauga-based Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd, and will house a series of contained concrete tunnels which will use bacteria to break down the organic waste into a pasteurized compost — a process that will take two to three weeks.
Company president Mike Reinders says the technology is already used extensively in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands. The province is contributing $5.2 million toward the plant through its Millennium Partnership Fund.
According to Beth Goodger, 40 to 45 per cent of the waste stream is organics; if you capture this material then it’s possible to go beyond 65 per cent waste diversion.
Next year every household in Hamilton will receive a snap-seal kitchen container and a green cart to use for curbside collection. A pilot project launched for 2,300 households in five areas in the city in the fall of 2002 saw participation rates from 51 to 74 per cent — compared to 78 per cent for the blue box program.
The city will also limit to three the number of garbage bags households can put out at the curb each week. City council deferred action on the limit until next term.