According to and article in the Toronto Star (February 20) by city hall reporter Paul Moloney, Toronto is having trouble due to lack of capacity — processing the large volumes of organics captured by its new cart-based program in the city’s east and west ends.
Toronto introduced separate organics collection in Etobicoke in September, 2002 and Scarborough last September. City staff want to start trucking the kitchen scraps and other organics to a plant near Montreal in March because Toronto doesn’t have the capacity to process the 50,000 tonnes a year the program generates.
Groupe Conporec Inc., of Tracy, Quebec can take up to 12,000 tonnes (which equals 333 truckloads) over the next nine months to a year, according to Angelos Bacopoulos, general manager of solid waste.
The company would charge $72 a tonne plus trucking costs for a total of $115 a tonne. It costs Toronto $90 per tonne to compost organics at its own facility. (The city processes 23,000 tonnes annually at its Dufferin facility in North York, and a Guelph plant can handle 20,000 tonnes, but Guelph processing has slowed due to renovations.)
Groupe Conporec has spare capacity to help with the 50,000 tonnes a year Toronto is bringing in. This volume will increase when Toronto, East York and York get the so-called "Green Bin" in October. At that time officials estimate compost will grow to 90,000 tonnes per year.
The former Canada Composting plant in Newmarket plant is now undergoing renovations and may be operational this summer with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes. That would solve many of Toronto’s problems and the city could stop shipping to Quebec. Staff are reluctant to scale back or postpone the program.
The Groupe Conporec option will be discussed by the city council’s policy and finance committee this week and will go to city council in early March.