Sunday, August 16, 2015

25% Green Bins Contain Non-Compostable Material

Biodegradable Bags Are Not Compostable

The City's sanitation department recently did an audit of the contents of green bins used in the curbside organic waste program which diverts organics from the Cedar landfill.

Of the bins sampled 25% were found to contain non-compostable materials such as foil lined card, plastic food wrap, butter foil, dental floss, cotton, cotton wool, cigarette butts, dryer sheets, dryer lint and hair. 

There is also some confusion when it comes to the difference between compostable bags and biodegradable bags. Biodegradable bags do not compost they merely break down into small pieces of plastic whereas a bag marked compostable will break down into soil.

The audit showed that while 25% of the bins checked contained contamination it amounted to less than 1% of the total weight or volume in the bins. While 1% sounds small that still represents 1 pound of wrong materials in every 100 pounds collected.

These items are finally screened out at the composting plant on Duke Point but plastic contamination is still affecting the quality of the finished compost.


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