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Cape St. George resident Robert Cormier surprised at simplicity of backyard composting

The hundreds of compost bins that were delivered to Cape St. George this past summer are now in use in the community helping to lessen the amount of waste going to the regional transfer site in St. George’s.
The hundreds of compost bins that were delivered to Cape St. George this past summer are now in use in the community helping to lessen the amount of waste going to the regional transfer site in St. George’s. - Frank Gale

Robert Cormier is doing his best with backyard composting and was surprised at how simple a process it is once he got used to it.

He is one of many residents of Cape St. George who took advantage of the free composting bins that the town offered to cut down on the waste tipping fees that were more than doubling back in July.

Cormier said all you must do is watch what you’re putting into the bin, making sure there are no meats, bones or other scrap items that would attract rodents.

He and his wife Gladys collect their teabags, egg shells, vegetable peels and other such items in a container inside the house and dump them into the outside composter bin twice a week.

Cormier said the other part is using a pitchfork to turn the contents of the bin once a week, which is another easy task and he was surprised at how there’s no smell from it.

With his bin now about three quarters full, he’s hoping that to have some compost material ready for use by next fall since he’s heard it takes about that long. He said with some of his own gardens that won’t go to waste.

The former council member said the best part is that it’s a making a big difference in the amount of garbage going to the transfer station in St. George’s, the point at which the tipping fees are charged.

“I think everybody should be doing this to reduce the amount of garbage going into landfills and being kind to the environment,” he said.

Because of Cormier, others like him and a community composting facility for those who didn’t want to do it in their back yard, Cape St. George was able to lower its garbage collection fees in budget 2019.

There was good acceptance of the backyard composting program started in July when residents adopted the backyard composting program whole heartedly.

Mayor Peter Fenwick said the town will pay for about 100 tonnes of waste the coming year at the St. George’s facility — that’s down from more than 240 tonnes last year.

It’s estimated it will save the town more than $15,000 annually.

In addition to distributing 200 composting bins to residents, the town set up a community composting facility and refused to send any organic matter that can be composted to the transfer station in St. George’s.

The town also initiated a pre-sort at its recycling facility and sent as much recyclables to Scotia Recycling as possible, including paper, cardboard and deposit-bearing containers. The proceeds of the deposit containers were credited to the local schools and helped pay for lunch programs and swimming rentals.

The garbage fee for Cape St. George is now $155, $25 less than the amount being paid by other communities on the Port au Port Peninsula.

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