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Community compost sites pitched as potential solution to organic waste

Jul. 15, 2019

Community gardens are sprouting up across Edmonton and some residents, including one city councillor, are wondering if they could also function as compost sites.

Coun. Aaron Paquette plans to bring a motion before council on Tuesday to allow community gardens to run their own composting programs. 

"For those who are starting a community garden that gives them the compost they need," Paquette said. "But it can also be used as a fundraiser. They could sell their compost to other communities or individuals."

The change could divert organics from the landfill, Paquette said, and take pressure off the city's composting program.

Edmonton's 270,000-square-foot composting facility was permanently shut down in May after failing a safety inspection. Officials say the short-term plan is to divert organic waste to an anaerobic digestion facility until a new facility is ready sometime between 2023 and 2025. 

"We just simply don't have the capacity to process all of these organics from single residential in the entire city until we build another composter," Paquette said.

He said allowing communities to spearhead their own efforts would complement the city's green bin pilot program, which rolled out in April. Eight thousand homes received a 120-litre green bin for kitchen waste.

Paquette said he'd also like to see a simplified approval process for community gardens as interest grows across the city.

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