Better composting system sought for Halifax region

Handy tips to reduce how much food you throw out

The hunt for a new composting system in the Halifax region is underway as regional council authorized solid-waste officials to launch a process to find a new operator Tuesday.

The municipality wants to expand and update the site in Goodwood along the Prospect Road. 

It has had odour issues in the past and the local councillor asked for assurances that the new system would not cause problems for homeowners and businesses in the area.

'Unbearable' compost stench

"The odour can make your eyes water and that's not an exaggeration. It's unbearable," said Steve Adams, councillor for District 11, Spryfield-Sambro Loop-Prospect Road.

The municipality's solid-waste manager insisted only proposals from operators with a proven track record that use state-of-the-art technology will be considered.

"You have my word that we will do everything we can to ensure that odour is minimized, if not completely eliminated, in terms of coming off the site," said Matt Keliher.

Grass clippings revisited

Other councillors wanted to revisit the issue of grass clippings.

Grass was prohibited from green carts in 2016 to reduce the amount of waste going to Halifax's aging plants.

Coun. Russell Walker asked if a new composting system could handle grass clippings.

18 months to pre-qualify

He was told it could be considered along with other ideas such as pet waste and compostable bags, but reversing the decision would depend on the cost.

"I'll add grass then," said Walker, District 10, Halifax-Bedford Basin West. "We'll get a quote on it and go from there. If it's too expensive then it's too expensive."

It would take up to 18 months to pre-qualify companies for the process, issue a request for proposals and select a final plan. Construction of a new composting system would take place after that.