Plant seeks lift of plastic ban
When it first applied for approval to operate its composting plant in Ottawa, Orgaworld argued that a green bin program that didn’t take plastic bags and diapers would be cleaner, less smelly, and produce a better quality compost.
Now, two years later, Orgaworld is fighting to have the restrictions on its environmental certificate of approval essentially its permit to operate from the provincial Ministry of the Environment lifted so that it can accept dirty diapers, dog feces, and waste in plastic bags at its Hawthorne Road facility.
“The organic waste that’s collected in plastic bags . has the potential to start decomposing anaerobically, which creates odours,” said McCulloch.
“Orgaworld’s own documentation makes the points I’ve just gone over.”
Anaerobic decomposition, which occurs without oxygen, happens in nature in the muck at the bottom of ponds; it tends to produce extremely foul smells. Aerobic decomposition, with oxygen, is the more common way of producing compost. Done properly, the actual decomposition should produce little smell at all.
Orgaworld’s Ottawa composting plant began accepting green bin waste at the end of January. Its original contract with the city contained three possible scenarios: one that included diapers, dog feces, and waste in plastic bags; one that included plastic bags but excluded the other two; and one that excluded all three.
In the end Ottawa city council decided to initiate a green bin program that it considered the cleanest excluding diapers, plastic bags, and dog feces.
Orgaworld’s facility in London, Ontario, which accepts these materials, had been plagued with hundreds of citizens’ complaints about odours described as “garbage,” “dirty diaper,” “urine,” “musty,” “vomit,” “dumpster,” “rotting meat,” and “rotting fruit.”
When it applied for its certificate of approval for t replica watches he Ottawa plant in 2008, Orgaworld was asked to describe how it would avoid the problems experienced in London, and replied tha repl replica watches ica watches t Ottawa would have a “cleaner” organics stream.
“This includes. no collection in plastic bags and no inclusion of sanitary productions and pet wastes,” states Orgaworld’s June 2008 application for a provisional certificate. “This will have several positive effects on the composition and quality of the organic materials arriving at the proposed facility.”
The application document, under the subheading “Lessons Learned OCL London Facility” continues:
“Materials that have already gone anaerobic in plastic bags tend to exhibit a higher odour loading based on the experience at London. Provision of a cleaner, fresher organics stream in Ottawa that has had less opportunity/time to reach anaerobic condition replica watches s will decrease the total odour load and stress on the odour control systems. The above reasons are additionally true in light of the fact that no sanitary products will be provided. These materials also tend to contain a high quantity of contaminant materials that lead to higher residual wastes as well as higher incoming odour load. The City’s commitment to a cleaner organics stream that is more suitable to composting will have a significant beneficial effect on the proposed facility’s operations and environmental controls.”