More bins coming: City of Montreal to boost composting efforts

The City of Montreal is increasing its efforts to get more and more people on the island to compost.

Mayor Denis Coderre says by 2019, all buildings on island with 8 units or fewer will have curbside pickup

This year, 344,000 homes in all 19 boroughs have a bin to collect kitchen waste. (CBC)

The City of Montreal is increasing its efforts to get more and more people on the island to compost.

When the city started compost pickup in 2015, it reached 187,000 homes in eight boroughs on the island.

Now, two years later, 344,000 homes in all 19 boroughs have a brown bin to collect kitchen waste.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says that by 2019, the city plans to have curbside compost pickup at every building with eight units or fewer.

Coderre said it's not a tough sell because more and more people are doing it every day.

"[For] the new generation and the other to come … it's already there.… It's kind of a normality," he said.

The city is working with celebrity chef Martin Picard to help sell the idea of getting people to compost.

Celebrity chef Martin Picard, composts daily at his sugar shack, which feeds 25,000 people every year. (CBC)
For Picard, who has owned a sugar shack for the last decade, composting is part of his daily routine at Cabane à Sucre Au Pied De Cochon.

"There, it's a bit of a micro-society. Every year, we serve 25,000."

He said it's satisfying to collect food waste and have it go back into the earth to sustain new life.

"It starts to be fun and satisfying. In Montreal, it's the exact same thing except that our participation as citizens is to take what's in our fridge and put it in a small container," Picard said.

3 on-island transformation sites

Last year, the city collected 26,000 tonnes of food waste.

It gets sent to one of two plants off the island to get turned into compost.

Pierre Gravel, who works with the city's environment department, says the composted earth then goes back to be put into the creation of a park in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood.

The city also gives out the earth to residents.

"There's two times of year that people can come and pick up compost: in the springtime and autumn period," Gravel said, adding that the city is planning to have three transformation sites on the island by 2020.

Composting across the city

The city's goal is to have compost curbside pickup at every building with 8-units or fewer by 2019. Here's a look, borough by borough, at what percentage of buildings with 8 units or fewer have the service.

Borough 2017
Île-Bizard—Sainte-Geneviève 100%
Lachine 100%
Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve 100%
Outremont 100%
Pierrefonds-Roxboro 100%
Rivière-des-Prairies—Pointe-aux-Trembles 100%
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie 100%
Saint-Laurent 100%
Sud-Ouest 100%
Verdun 100%
Le Plateau—Mont-Royal 73%
Villeray-St-Michel-Parc-Extension 65%
Côte-des-Neiges—NDG 61%
Ville-Marie 55%
Ahuntsic-Cartierville 53%
LaSalle 48%
Montreal North 47%
Saint-Leonard 47%
Anjou 46%

With files from CBC's Elias Abboud