Petrolia compost meeting set for May 26

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Waste Management employee Clarence Postma grabs an armful of sticks from the back of a pickup during the first of Petrolia’s compost days at the Progress Drive site. The Town of Petrolia has eight more days planned throughout the year after closing its own compost site after a Ministry of the Environment inspection. Heather Wright Photo

Staff from the Ministry of the Environment and the Town of Petrolia are set to meet May 26 to try to find “a path forward” on the town’s compost site.
The town 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.
They included 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, 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 the proper disposal of any waste follows the conditions of the town’s Environmental Compliance Approval.”
Town officials had been concerned the MOECC would want the site fenced off if it were to continue operating although, the MOECC says right now, that is not a concern.
MOECC Spokesman Gary Wheeler says the ministry wants to work with the town, whatever it decides.
“For example, if the municipality decides to continue operating the site, discussions on issues such as improvements to site drainage and repair of the site berms will be necessary,” he says in an email.
“If the municipality wishes to permanently close the site, a discussion regarding site closure responsibilities (such as the removal of residual waste) will need to occur.”
It’s not clear how much it will cost to prepare the site for either continued operation or closure.
The municipality has some time to decide its next steps since it has contracted Waste Management to run seven compost days at the company’s Progress Drive site. That will cost about $18,000.

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