Petrolia closes compost site after Ministry of the Environment inspection


Gardeners finishing their spring clean up in Petrolia will have to find someplace new to compost.
The Town of Petrolia has closed its compost site on  Maude Street extension after an inspection by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change two weeks ago.
Mike Thompson, Petrolia’s director of operations, says just after the site was opened, the MOECC inspector came in to take a look at the site. One week later, Thompson received an email detailing a number of problems which the ministry issued orders to correct.
The compost site operates under a Certificate of Approval and Thompson says the inspection found the town was violating a couple of the conditions including operating the compost site outside of the hours listed on the Certificate of Approval and failing to test the compost as directed in the order.
Thompson says when he became the director of operations he was not aware of the requirement for sampling. And he says he’s not sure how much it would cost to comply with that order.
The orders also call for the compost site to be fenced in. Thompson isn’t sure how much that will cost either.
However, he says, the town “doesn’t have the funds or the resources to accomplish everything they (the MOECC) want accomplished.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” says Thompson. “At the end of the day, we can’t comply with what they want because it would obviously cost a lot of money and we don’t have the resources to do that.”
Thompson says town staff is in the “preliminary stages” of trying to get the service delivered to the people of Petrolia. “Hopefully, we can figure something out this year… it may cost more.”
Mayor John McCharles says it is unfortunate, especially since people are just beginning to clean up their yards but “basically there are two ways to go, you can try to fix those orders or close.
“If the cost isn’t extreme, then we’ll try to do something.”
McCharles says the town has looked at another area for a compost site or to see if there is a private operator who could operate a site for the town. Before 2013, the town’s site was run by a private contractor.


  1. There is a third option: civil disobedience, one government level to another.
    If the Ministry won’t allow reasonable time to discuss and meet requirements, many citizens would encourage the town to keep it open and provide a safe useful service to the community. Then we would see backpedalling by an unpopular Minister and government.

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