Visited the Hamilton Composting Plant

The green bin composting program is proving very popular. A few months ago, the Record newspaper complained that our compost was traveling far away to Thorold and so it was not actually environmentally friendly.

So we looked for a closer firm or to build our own composting plant. Cost of building a plant, 30 to 40 million dollars. I am against you paying that much in property taxes when it can go to Hamiliton’s plant and perhaps eventually the new plant Guelph is building.

We are presently using the City of Hamilton plant and as part of the composting committee, I was able to take a tour.

The plant is located in an industrial area in Hamilton. The smell is not too bad, only near the receiving door. But visitors can end up smelling of the garbage is they stay too long and having to have a shower and change clothes when they get home. Ditto the workers at the plant.

 Green waste is dumped in a large “garage like” area then moved into huge bins to compost (rot) into soil.

When we looked at the soil, it didn’t smell and Jim Wideman picked some up in his hand and felt it and pronounced it good soil. (Interesting, how the councillors who are farmers or who come from the farm do that, they can tell the quality of the soil by its feel. Very cool)

The soil does have a high salt content though due to the large amount of salt put in our food. It must be mixed with regular soil to be useful.

Hamilton likes our green bin material because unlike Toronto, we do not use plastic bags for our liners. They told me that Toronto is building a, I believe slurry type composting facility so they can remove the bags floating on top of the compost. So far Toronto has not successfully made good compost. Why don’t they use paper bags with cellulose liners like we do? I have no idea.

Here’s a link to a powerpoint about the Hamilton plant

http://www.compost.org/conf2006/8BestManagementPractices/CCFPresentation.pdf

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