With organic waste making up roughly a third of Newfoundland and Labrador trash, Environment Minister Tom Hedderson said Tuesday that if we want to get serious about reducing waste, composting is the next big thing.
Environment Minister Tom Hedderson spoke about the importance of composting Tuesday at a conference organized by the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board.
— Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
Hedderson spoke briefly to open a two-day conference organized by the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) talking about composting and organic waste.
“Keeping organic waste out of landfill is imperative to delivering a progressive and environmentally sound waste management plan that is designed to keep this province of ours clean as well as healthy,” he told organic waste experts from across North America.
Hedderson said that the government has been subsidizing backyard compost bins, and that’s a good start, but it’ll never be enough.
“We have 300 tonnes (of organic waste) a day. So if that can be cut down by 100 tonnes, that’s great, but there’s still going to be 200 more — also from our restaurants and our institutions and so forth,” he said.
Mike Samson, CEO of the MMSB, said that there are just some things that don’t compost well at home.
“I know from my own experience as a backyard composter, you can really reduce your organics and the amount of material you’re sending to the curb working in your backyard, but there’s some things you can’t deal with,” he said.
Samson said there are plenty of companies out there who are doing good work when it comes to large-scale composting, and this week’s conference is partly about bringing them together.
“I like to think of the MMSB’s primary role as sort of the agent of change. What we do is we work with people to develop broader thinking, to introduce new ideas, to facilitate conversations, to encourage innovation,” he said.
“We think there are opportunities on the business side to help us advance that.”