NSCC student wants Port Hawkesbury to start collecting green bin compost

A student at the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus hopes to convince the town of Port Hawkesbury to start collecting curbside compost. Chad Kelly has been invited to make a presentation to council.

Chad Kelly has researched the subject and is presenting his results to town council

Chad Kelly says pushing for curbside compost is his way of giving back to Cape Breton. (Submitted by Chad Kelly)

A student at the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus hopes to convince the town of Port Hawkesbury to start collecting curbside compost.

Chad Kelly, 38, of Truro, is in his second and final year of the natural resources and environmental technology program. Green bin collection is his applied research project.

"This started off as, I need to get a grade to graduate," said Kelly. "But as I was working through this project, a lot more passion was coming out of me in the sense that we need a cleaner environment."

Kelly said he knocked on doors and surveyed 100 people in Port Hawkesbury. He also talked to waste collection companies and waste reduction managers in municipalities that already have curbside compost collection including nearby Mulgrave and his hometown of Truro.

"This research was a lot of legwork, getting out, knocking on doors, introducing myself," he said.

Kelly also contacted most of Port Hawkesbury town council and was invited by Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton to present his findings on Tuesday.

Town will consider his plan

"I would certainly say that council would consider it. They'll certainly have some questions," said Chisholm-Beaton.

"There's definitely going to be some merit to having a conversation around the council table to see if that's a direction the town may consider going."

Chisholm-Beaton said budget deliberations are just beginning so council may ask for a cost estimate from its waste removal contractor.

Kelly said his research showed most of the cost is an upfront investment that usually pays off in 12 to 18 months through recycling and environmental incentive programs.

Kelly said 90 per cent of Nova Scotians have green bin collections and he would like this to be his legacy from his time in Cape Breton.

"This community has opened its arms to us as students, have welcomed us in, they fed us, they educated us, they've showed us hospitality, so I would love to give back to the community" he said.

"I believe the public is ready for it. It's more or less convincing town council now."

About the Author

Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith


Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith was born and raised in Cape Breton. She began her career in private radio in Sydney and has been with CBC as a reporter, early morning news editor and sometimes host since 1990.