Villages compost sites both facing permanent closure

MORRISBURG – South Dundas council decided months ago that the Morrisburg compost site will close by the end of this year and at Monday’s council meeting it was learned that the Iroquois compost site will likely face the same fate.

If the municipality continues to operate either of these sites without proper approvals, it could potentially be subjecting itself to the possibility of being hit with fines.

Both sites had been operating without proper permitting and approvals and council decided that having one proper site at Iroquois was their preferred option.

However, as staff explored that option they found that the cost of obtaining a proper certificate of approval for the Iroquois site would likely be $150,000.

“I know people will be upset, but we can’t spend $150,000 to make any compost site compliant,” said South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan.

“I agree,” said South Dundas councillor Donald Lewis. “I’m not about to spend $150,000 of taxpayers’ money on compost. That’s outrageous.”

All council members agreed. (Note: South Dundas councillor Lloyd Wells was absent from the meeting.)

“Based on discussions and pursuing alternative options to the Iroquois or Morrisburg sites, staff have determined the lowest cost option for operating a compost site would be relocating and constructing the site at the Matilda landfill,” said Danielle Watson, South Dundas director of environmental services in her Oct. 19 key information report to council.

The necessary application, consulting fees and set up costs for a compost site at the Matilda landfill are estimated at one third of the cost ($50,000).

The major downfall of having the compost site at the landfill is that it will take up available space from the existing waste footprint of the landfill, which could impact the long term lifespan of the landfill.

“I worry about the footprint,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner. “I’m not completely comfortable using a landfill that’s on life support.”

However, council really has no other option if it wants to offer a compost site for its residents.

With this turn of events, council asked staff to investigate the possibility of offering seasonal yard waste pickup to residents.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds had suggested the possibility of temporarily placing roll off boxes in each of the villages for a couple of days seasonally to collect yard waste.

Watson said that these types of depot days can be done, but that they require transfer station permits which do have associated costs that have to be considered in the equation.

Staff will come up with a plan and bring it back to council.

The permanent closure of the Morrisburg compost site is December 31st.

Watson said: “The closure date for the Iroquois facility is yet to be determined, however it is not open during the winter. It closes at the end of November to the public.” She went on to say: “The reopening of the Iroquois facility will be dependent on conversations between the Municipality and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.”

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