The Gleaner

Curbside composting is coming to Hemmingford

Brown bins for compostable materials will be delivered to Hemmingford residents this week as part of a new residual waste management program in the MRC des Jardins-de-Napierville. A bylaw establishing the terms and conditions for the collection, treatment, and disposal of waste within the MRC was adopted on October 12, and will enter into force on January 1, 2023, when waste collection including compost is due to start.

Hemmingford Township director general Sylvie Dubuc says the road to compost collection within the MRC began two years ago, when the provincial government committed to providing all citizens with composting services by 2025. Since then, the 11 municipalities of the MRC des Jardins-de-Napierville ceded their control over residual waste management to the regional county municipality.

This past April, the MRC declared exclusive jurisdiction over waste management across its territory. It announced that an integrated management agreement had been reached with the neighbouring MRC du Haut-Richelieu for the collection, transportation, treatment, and elimination of household residual materials, recyclable materials, organic and green waste, as well as construction materials and hazardous household waste.

The MRC also resolved to establish a joint waste-management plan with the MRC du Haut-Richelieu, where all collection services will be provided by Compo-Haut-Richelieu Inc which is based in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Dubuc says the new service will allow residents to compost much more than they may already be doing with backyard composters. “It’s good news,” she says, noting “The more people compost, the less there will be in the garbage.” She admits there has been some hesitation from residents towards the program, but she is encouraging all to adopt the brown bin.

According to RECYC-QUÉBEC data, approximately 50 per cent of the waste typically generated per household is organic material (food residue and green waste). Yves Boyer, the MRC des Jardins-de-Napierville prefect, strongly encourages citizens to adopt the brown bin. “This will
contribute to the quality of our environment on many levels,” he says, in a press release announcing the new program.

The new service will be implemented in two phases. During the first phase, the brown “BRUN’O Lebac” bins, as well as “Minibacs,” small kitchen bins, will be distributed to single-family homes and buildings with five units or less. Residents are asked, however, to hold off on feeding their compost bins until a week before the first collection, scheduled to start this winter. Phase two will target multi-dwelling units.

“The citizens of the municipality of the Village of Hemmingford are looking forward to participating in the compost collection because it is more complicated in town to have a compost pile at the end of your property, especially if you live in an apartment building,” says Pascale Giroux, the assistant director general and public works coordinator for the Village of Hemmingford.

The compost will be sent to a regional composting centre in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu that has been under construction since 2001. Once the facility is operational, the compost will be mixed with structuring agents such as wood chips. The composting process, which involves turning the waste, will take from three months to a year, depending on the moisture level, oxygen, and outside temperatures. Once ready, Compo-Haut-Richelieu will distribute the compost to citizens and municipalities, as well as local landscapers and farmers.

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