A pilot composting project in a town on the Burin Peninsula was so successful that it will soon be extended to all households.
Over 200 homes in Grand Bank participated in the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board's project, which diverted more than 112 tonnes of compost and paper waste from the local landfill.
Mike Sampson, the MMSB's CEO, said they had to explore more efficient and innovative ways to deal with waste than just sending it to distant landfills.
"There are environmental issues clearly associated with the trucking, but there are also significant costs at the community level, so it's about finding affordable ways of managing solid waste in the province," he said.
Over the past eight months, residents like Paul van der Werf have collected discarded bits of fruit, veggies and paper to turn into compost or organic fertilizer.
"If you want things to grow in your soil, you need to have organic matter, so the key benefit is that we're able to get at 60 or 70 per cent of the waste stream and produce a product that we can put back into our vegetable gardens, our flower beds, and so on," said van der Werf.
Grand Bank Mayor Darrell Lafosse credits residents' enthusiasm for the popularity of the program.
"Once I think the residents realized how easy it was going to be, they took ownership of it, and I find that once they take ownership of something, they are more likely to participate and they're very protective of what it is they're involved with," he said.
Sampson said the program will now be available to the entire town, in an effort to reach the province's goal of reducing its garbage by half by 2020.
"We think that the diversion of the organics and, interestingly, in the case of a pilot like this, where we're seeing fibre products going into that, that this could be a huge help in helping us to get to that goal," said Sampson.
Compost and paper waste will be collected along with regular garbage for all 1,200 households in Grand Bank starting in June.