Plans for Cornwall sewage plant to take household organic waste

The entrance to the Cornwall, Ont. waste water treatment plant on Montreal Road. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – The city is looking at a plan for the Cornwall Waste Water Treatment Plant to process organic waste separated by residents from their regular weekly trash.

Infrastructure and Municipal Works Acting Division Manager Carl Goodwin will present the findings of two studies on equipping the plant on Montreal Road to process organics at a city council meeting tonight (Monday). The studies have taken almost two years to complete.

Designing and engineering 30 per cent of the project would cost around $50,000 and could be partially subsidized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The actual co-digestion setup will be far more expensive although actual figures were not provided in Goodwin’s report.

His report says the city has to look at separating organics because it’s going to be mandated by the Ontario government.

“Such a program could divert in excess of 40 per cent of residential waste from the landfill,” Goodwin writes.

The process could even make money for the city as the sewage treatment plant would be able to capture and sell natural gas from the process as well as fertilizer from further processing.

City council will be asked to accept Goodwin’s report and a presentation from the Ontario Clean Water Agency. The report makes a number of recommendations including developing a business case and finding project partners.