Petrolia compost site unlikely to reopen: Baron

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It doesn’t look like the Town of Petrolia will be running its own compost site again.
Last April, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change inspected the Maude St. site and found 14 areas of concern including poor bookkeeping, not keeping track of the items going into the compost nor what was leaving the site.
The town closed the site and reached an agreement with Waste Management to run seven composting days throughout the summer. Residents would have to pay $20 for the service and the town would pay Waste Management $18,000.
Councillor Ross O’Hara has asked about the long-term future of the compost site at almost every council meeting since then. He says residents constantly ask him when it will reopen. In July, staff told O’Hara a report would be ready for the first meeting in September. When there wasn’t a report on Monday’s agenda, O’Hara raised the subject again. “A lot of people have asked me about it over the summer,” he says.
Mike Thompson, director of operations, report has yet to be completed because a consultant is doing testing for the town at the compost site.
In an interview with The Independent, Chief Administrative Officer Manny Baron says RDWI Consulting based out of Guelph has been brought in to test what is actually in the compost. “Basically we want to know how we can clean it up,” says Baron. “What exists in the compost, if there is anything bad, and if we are going to clean it up, can we bring it to the farmer – what is its organic make up.”
Baron says the consultant’s report will help council make decisions on the next steps and be helpful when working with the MOECC.
But at council, Baron was blunt about the prospects of reopening the Maude St. facility.
“I highly doubt that the recommendation will be to open that site,” he told O’Hara Monday. “Chances are we will be out of line with the ministry.” The consultants report would depend on what the testing revealed, he added. “It’s iffy.”
Thompson expects to have a full report, including options from Waste Management for a more permanent composting solution, should come to council’s next meeting in two weeks. “We have a lot of options from Waste Management. We wanted to put it all together rather than do half the report now and half later.”

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