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WASTE MANAGEMENT    Organic Matter

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Why a brown bin ?

Starting with the proven impact of organic waste on Greenhouse gases to finding solutions for the amount of materials overflowing in our landfills, the reasons for moving towards implementing the “Brown” bin are countless.

Plus, it’s so simple!


What’s at stake for the environment?

According to Recyc-Québec, more than half of our waste bins are made up of organic materials (table scraps, lawn clippings, etc.). In fact, in 2010, it was established that, per person, we put 151 kg of organic materials in our trash bins per year. Besides the fact that this type of waste could constitute an invaluable resource for compost production and soil enrichment, these materials are also the cause of important landfill problems. When these materials are buried, they decompose without oxygen intake, thus producing important greenhouse gas emissions as well as other compounds harmful for the environment and our health. According to the MDDELCC (Ministère du développement durable, de l’environnement et de la lutte contre le changement climatique), Quebec’s record for greenhouse gas emissions was set at 5% in 2011 and was mainly due to organic materials found in our landfills.

Quebec Policy

The Quebec policy concerning residual materials management sets objectives for municipalities that must be attained in regards to residual materials. It recommends a 100% valorization of organic material by 2020. Therefore, it will soon be impossible, without sanctioned penalties for municipalities, to bury compostable food waste. This objective, included in the Residual Material Management Plan (RMMP) for the Brome-Missisquoi MRC, will aim in collecting organic material from brown bins in all its municipalities as soon as September 2018.

Brown Gold for Gardeners!

Our table scraps, garden waste, dead leaves, branches and grass clippings are all too often considered as useless trash. However, aside from causing serious environmental problems by way of our landfills, this so-called trash could in fact become an invaluable resource for our flower beds and vegetable gardens: “brown gold” for gardeners! Compost resulting from the decomposition of organic materials adds rich nutriments to plants, helps with water retention, the prevention of soil erosion and contributes to its diversity. Considering all the present environmental challenges we must deal with, as well as the constant degradation and loss of arable land, the real question is: What are we waiting for to stop wasting this precious resource?

Why abrown bin, since I already do my own composting?

The brown bin should be considered as a complement for domestic composting. Our research tells us that this practice doesn’t cover the overall population and doesn’t include all the organic waste produced by a household. For example, domestic composters can’t handle meat, fish, fatty and sweet food, soiled paper and cardboard or weeds that have gone to seed. A family that composts would still send 1.5 kg to 2.5 kg of organic materials to their brown bin, in fact, 100 kg per year! Consequently, for about ten homes, we could move a ton of waste away from our landfills and give this same waste an added value for the environment. Plus, the bins are more readily accessible than composters sitting at the other end of the yard! Indeed, for now, the door to door collecting of brown bins is the only option for a complete waste management for all our organic materials.

What will happen with the collected waste?

The collected waste will be taken to the composting platform of the Régie intermunicipale de gestion des matières résiduelles de Brome-Missisquoi (RIGMRBM, Brome-Missisquoi’s inter-municipal board for waste management) located in Cowansville. Brown bin materials will be added to wood and other green waste, then piled outside in windrows. These will be turned regularly which will accelerate the decomposition process and allow materials to reach a high enough temperature to kill seeds, weeds and pathogens. Finally, as the compost matures, it will be sieved.