Composting comes to Cote St. Luc

Côte St. Luc is the latest Quebec city to flirt with curbside composting.

Côte St. Luc is the latest Quebec city to flirt with curbside composting.

Starting Tuesday, about 500 households in the demerged city in Montreal's west end will be able to put out organic waste as part of a new pilot project.

The homes received two bins— a 7.5-litre container to be used in the kitchen and a larger, 46.5-litre version for the sidewalk —as well as biodegradable corn-starch liners.

The project, spearheaded by Côte St. LuccouncillorSteven Erdelyi, should divert as much as half the volume of waste generated by an average household, he said.

Residents participating in the pilot project will be able to compost grass clippings, coffee grounds, milk products andbread, among other things.

People willprobably be surprised at what they can put in bins, including "all their kitchen scraps and soiled paper, paper towels, tissues and their pizza boxes" Erdelyi told CBC.

Waste will be collected every Tuesday starting this week. Regular garbage collection will be reduced from twice to once a week.

Côte St. Lucis the latest municipality to give large-scale composting a try. The city of Sherbrooke inQuebec's Eastern Townships unveiled an ambitious, $3.5-million plan last week that will distribute almost 35,000 compost bins by the end of the year and include apartment buildings in the collection program.

Other Quebec towns and cities with composting pilot projects or full-fledged programs include Quebec City, Lachute, Rawdon, St. Hyacinthe and the Magdalen Islands.

Other municipalities in the greater Montreal area have tried large-scale composting with varying degrees of success, including Pointe Claire on the West Island and Laval.

Composting will help municipalities reach Quebec's province-wide waste-reduction targets, which require cities and towns to divert 60 per cent of waste from landfill.

That target isn't impossible to reach, Erdelyi said. "Eighty-five per cent of your waste can either berecycled or composted. Most residents aren't given the option."

But as long as landfill costs remain low in Quebec there will be little incentive for municipalities to give composting a try, despite the provincial targets, he added. "In Toronto, the big issue is the price of garbage. In Toronto the price of landfill was well over[double] in Quebec....As Quebec raises the tax on landfill, it will encourage more cities to do what we're doing."

There is no immediate plan for widespread composting in Montreal, according to city officials.


  • Côte St. Luc councillor Steven Erdelyi said 85 per cent of waste can either be recycled or composted, not diversified or composted as originally reported.
    Sep 26, 2007 11:40 AM ET