One thousand tonnes of material a year is kept out of the landfill in Southgate through the township’s composting operation.
A thorough review of the site at the former Egremont landfill was included in a “compost plan” on council’s July 28 agenda.
The site uses open windrows on a concrete pad, with household organics about 85 to 90 percent of the volume with the remainder food waste.
The recipe for the windrows is one part of that material (nitrogen) to three parts chipped wood or similar (carbon) material.
When conditions are right, the report by GM Blueplans said, “a well-managed composting facility will be capable of dealing with virtually any type of organic waste without creating nuisance conditions.”
One windrow is for receiving material. The active windrow is turned regularly to introduce air. Another windrow is for curing and the final is for finished/screened compost.
The aerobic conditions and keeping the moisture at 40 to 60 percent help hit the right temperature of about 45 to 70C.
There are government requirements for dealing with pathogens, by keeping the temperature over 55C for a set period, and also for measure to prevent onsite and off-site nuisances. Temperatures are logged, and that helps decide when it’s time to turn the pile.
That’s usually done at least once a week. New material is covered by the wood waste before the end of the day.
Ontario has standards for finished compost, which is collected and tested. Because the Southgate site is not high-volume, that happens once or twice a year.
After meeting standards for quality it can then be used by township residents, and is made available at the transfer stations.
The site is on Southgate Sideroad 41, about four km east of Varney.
The provincial approval for the site would allow material to be received from beyond the township.
The approval for the site was amended in May. It now reflects a 3.3 hectare area in a 30.8 hectare site.
The compost plan was required as a condition for a recent EA amendment approval for relocation in the old fill area at the landfill and changes to monitoring requirements.
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald