South Glengarry explores subsidized in-home organics recycling

In this photo from a South Glengarry environment committee presentation on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, a FoodCycler unit is shown in the township municipal office in Lancaster, Ont. The committee is reviewing whether to recommend a program to subsidize the food waste recycling units to be put in people's homes. (South Glengarry via Newswatch Group)

LANCASTER – A municipally subsidized food waste unit – about the size of a bread maker – could be in South Glengarry homes in the future.

The township’s environment committee is exploring the idea after hearing from Food Cycle Science of Cornwall on Friday about its FoodCycler unit and the company’s municipal subsidy program.

The unit costs about $500 but is sold to municipalities for half that. Based on a subsidy program of $10,000, it could could offer about 100 units for about $150-200 to local households as part of a pilot project.

People put their food waste in – basically anything except hard bones and pits from fruit – and the machine turns it into soil.

Company spokesman Alex Hayman explained to the committee is the investment trade off – spending the money now would save South Glengarry its space in local landfills.

Hayman says the one unit, over its five year lifespan, saves about two metric tons of food waste from heading to the dump.

It addition to the unit cost, residents would be responsible for the machine upkeep by replacing the charcoal filter. Hayman says the filters cost $20 per set and a family using the unit daily would go through up to four sets of filters a year.

The committee will hash out what level of subsidy might be appropriate and whether there would be any community interest.

It will be discussed at the committee’s next meeting in late January when South Glengarry is expected to have results of its “composition report” — a trash audit with details on what exactly people are throwing out after going through residents’ trash for two weeks in November.

South Glengarry is also part of the six lower tier municipalities looking at a long term SD&G waste plan.