Cleaner Compost: too much plastic at the Yarmouth Compost Facility

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This compost windrow at the facility is a strong visual to demonstrate the issue of plastics arriving from green carts.

The Yarmouth Compost Facility is receiving too much plastic. The compost facility is solely operated by the Town of Yarmouth, which has an operating permit to receive organic materials. This permit comes with strict conditions pertaining to the certification of finished compost before it can leave the facility. Plastics and other non-organic contaminants make it difficult to get compost certified. Resulting costs include expanding holding pads, administrative and consulting costs to amend operating certificates to restore compliance, equipment, and labour-hours to remove plastics. And ultimately, the facility is left with excessive amounts of compost containing bits of plastic which decreases

The Yarmouth Compost Facility is receiving too much plastic. The compost facility is solely operated by the Town of Yarmouth, which has an operating permit to receive organic materials. This permit comes with strict conditions pertaining to the certification of finished compost before it can leave the facility. Plastics and other non-organic contaminants make it difficult to get compost certified. Resulting costs include expanding holding pads, administrative and consulting costs to amend operating certificates to restore compliance, equipment, and labour-hours to remove plastics. And ultimately, the facility is left with excessive amounts of compost containing bits of plastic which decreases its value.

The Town of Yarmouth is working closely with Waste Check and its municipal partners to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics arriving at the compost facility. In order to achieve this goal, we need help from YOU. This effort to put plastic in its place and develop clean compost depends on residents and businesses to do their part and sort waste and organics properly. Please refrain from placing plastic of ANY kind in your green cart and please help us spread the word on this very important topic.

#trashtalk #cleancompost #plasticpollution

"Compostable" and "Biodegradable" bags are NOT accepted

If it looks like plastic, it IS plastic. Bio-degradable, compostable, and oxo-degradable plastics are NOT accepted in the green cart program. They cause all the same problems at our compost facility that regular plastic does. Try using cereal boxes, pizza boxes, paper bags (McDonalds, NSLC, flour/sugar bags etc.), or newspaper in your kitchen to help keep everything clean. If you choose to line your mini bin with any type of plastic bag, it must be emptied into the green cart and the dirty plastic placed in the garbage.

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We welcome any questions you may have on this important topic. Please send your questions and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Q&A

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    My husband witnessed our garbage pick up (we live in Clark’s Harbour)take our compost which I do faithfully because we want to do our part in reducing garbage that goes in the landfill ,take it and just dump it with the garbage so why am I bothering if my own town doesn’t care this bothers both my husband and I .

    AnnFentonGoodwin asked 10 months ago

    Hello Ann - thank you for the question. I did some investigation on this and from what I understand the Town of Clark’s Harbour manages their own waste collection service and use a contractor that has a split body truck. This allows for separate compartments for both garbage for organics. So perhaps while it looked as though the organics were going into the "garbage", they were actually being put in the right place. Although I cannot say for certain that is what occurred in your situation, it would seem to make sense. For future reference or questions, you can contact the Clerk of the Town of Clark's Harbour at clerk@clarksharbour.com.