Cornwall future green bin goal would be 2,600 metric tons yearly, consultant says

In this January 2019, file photo, a blue box sits outside a Second Street West home in Cornwall, Ont. Once a green bin program for organics is set up in Cornwall, a consultant says the city could realistically divert 2,600 metric tons of organic waste a year. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Around 70 questions were put to officials and consultants Thursday night as the City of Cornwall held on online open house on organics recycling.

Under provincial rules the city has to be able to divert half of all organic waste put into the garbage by 2025 through a green bin program. Those are things that can naturally break down like food scraps, coffee grinds, spoiled fruits and vegetables and paper products.

Acting Waste Management Supervisor Dave Kuhn says the project is in the “premature stages” and they haven’t been able to “nail down a dollar figure.”

But Kuhn adds the goal is to “not impact the tax base.” Under the plan, the city would process the organic waste, turning it into salable products like natural gas, hydrogen and fertilizer.

A consultant told the online audience that a realistic goal for Cornwall is to divert at least 2,600 metric tons of organics a year – about the weight of half a million paint cans or 1,500 times the average weight of a car.

Asked by Cornwall Newswatch whether the city could use an in-home system like South Glengarry is looking into, Kuhn says that it’s “on our radar” and the city is “open to use the system to supplement” the curbside organics pickup.

Given the size of the municipality, the City of Cornwall is mandated to have an organics curbside collection.

Information from the organics study will be combined with a separate study on co-digestion sewage treatment, which will be sent to the Ontario Clean Water Agency. A report from OCWA will be coming back to city council at a future date.

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