Town organizes one-day compost event after MOE concerns about town site
Petrolia may contract out its composting services in the future.
The town recently shut down its Maude Street Extension site after a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change inspection March 22 pointed out 14 areas of concern that the municipality needed to address.
Concerned about the cost and needing time to find solutions, the town closed the site just as gardeners were beginning spring clean up.
Petrolia Chief Administrative Officer Manny Baron says the town approached Waste Management about providing a compost day for the residents and the company was willing to help. “Once a service goes, it is our job to find a solution and that’s what we’ve done,” says Baron.
Saturday, from 10 am to 2 pm, Petrolia residents can bring their garden items to the Waste Management site at 4485 Progress Drive. Staff from the town and Waste Management will be on hand to check proof of residency using a driver’s license and help residents dispose of the items. The one-day depot is free.
Baron tells The Independent Waste Management doesn’t normally offer compost services but it worked with the MOE to get an amendment to the company’s certificate of approval for the Progress Drive location to operate its site for the event.
Baron says the town is “absolutely” considering working with Waste Management on a more permanent solution for the compost problem.
“Obviously, short term was to get the short term problem addressed, but we’re hopefully going to talk to them – Waste Management – depending on price of course and depending on whether it makes sense financially, to come back and come to council with a proposal.
“But that’s our wish, to have them do it, if it make sense financially and physically of course.”
Baron says they don’t have an exact cost yet, but he says just the cost of fencing the three to four acre property alone will be very high. Town staff previously said there would be a need for increased staff training at the site as well. “The orders we have to address and the staffing we have to do…clearly, the costs will be a lot.”
In an email, MOE Communications Officer Gary Wheeler said there were 14 issues the town was to deal with in the 30 days given by the minister. He outlined a number of the problems including providing a plan to deal with surface water and leachate at the site, keeping a log book that records the source, type and amount of materials received and where the materials from the site are being shipped, including any waste, and making sure “the burning of waste does not occur at the compost site and that proper disposal of any waste follows the conditions of the town’s Environmental Compliance Approval.”
Town staff is working on a report for the April 24 council meeting about what the potential costs will be and what steps the town may take.
Wheeler says the town has until the end of April to deal voluntarily with the issues and adds the ministry is working with the town. “We encourage municipalities to divert compostable waste from landfills, thereby extending the lifespan of approved sites to meet current and future demands,” Wheeler writes in his email.
If the town decides to close the compost area permanently, Wheeler says many of the action items would no longer apply. “Instead, the site would need to submit a request to the Ministry to have their
approval revoked, along with details of how the site would be
WHAT TO BRING TO THE ONE-DAY COMPOST EVENT
tree limbs no bigger than 4 inches in diameter
vines or rose bushes
Only paper bags will be accepted and yard waste and brush will be sorted separately so do not bag them together
WHAT WON’T BE ACCEPTED
Waste and recyclables
sod, soil and sand