News  Montreal finally jumps on the composting bandwagon

Montreal’s new organic waste pickup plan would cut down on the volume of garbage winding up in landfills

Montreal trucks will pick up eggshells, apple cores, and other organic waste this month from 3,000 Mont Royal Plateau homes. The pilot project, which will last until October 15, follows the trend of other Canadian cities.

Alan DeSousa, a Montreal Executive Committee member responsible for sustainable development, explained why Montreal lagged behind Toronto, Halifax, and Edmonton, where infrastructure for organic waste pickup has been in place for years.

“We don’t want to make the same mistakes as Toronto,” said DeSousa. “We wanted to get this done as fast as possible, but we also wanted to do it well. So we took the extra time to ensure we have a successful program.”

To create Montreal’s program, DeSousa visited composting plants across the country to survey effective techniques and technology.

Executives selected the Plateau to pilot the project because the residents are avid recyclers.

“The Plateau has reached 58 per cent [recycling] which is why it was natural to implement the pick-up there,” DeSousa said. “Also Plateau representatives said they wanted the program and so because the people were keen.”

While the details of the plan have yet to be ironed out, the city plans to transfer the organic pickup to Quebec farms that will use it as fertilizer.

The city is also looking to expand the scope of the project to Côte St. Luc and Westmount.

“We want to apply this [project] there, but first we need to look at where the community is in regards to recycling: What is the public’s will and are they ready? These decisions will be made…when we are sure we have the capacity to receive and treat their added quantity of waste,” DeSousa said.