Fertilizer Pellets From Green Bin Waste

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The city of Toronto, Canada has partnered with U.S. based Veolia in a $23.5 million (CDN) project waste from the Ashbridges Bay to process sewage waste into fertilizer pellets.

Toronto has a green box recycling program in place, that in additional to blue and grey box programs requires residents of single family and multi-family buildings to sort food waste into.

The program has had its share of problems, both in the odour it has created and challenges for recyclers as many of the items in green boxes have already begun to decompose by the time it reaches the recycling centre.

The fertilizer pellet pilot project could potentially eliminate the need for the program, and make disposing of the waste as easy as putting down your sink – into a in-sink food disposal unit, or better known as a “garberator”.

For years homeowners have used composting systems as a way to convert waste back into a useful product for gardens, however composters can also attract vermin and in some cities face by-law challenges.

Now with the simple installation of an in-sink disposal system, homeowners can have the peace of mind knowing that the waste they are putting down the sink will actually end up as a fertilizer pellet.

The benefits of this program are significant, one you eliminate the smell green boxes create, especially on those hot, humid summer days. Two the cost savings over collecting and sorting all of those green boxes, while not quantified, must be significant compared to having the homeowner dispose of the waste themselves.

Typically the cost of an in-sink disposal unit starts at around $200.

Cities that are considering a green box program, would be well advised to consider investing in a tax-credit program enticing homeowners to install the units, for renters, builders should include them in all new rental units, in the same way smoke alarms are now included in most if not all new units.

  • Mark Spowart

    A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

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