Renewi Canada, the company that processes food and yard waste from Ottawa green bins, has finished a $8.5-million upgrade at its facility in the rural south end and can now handle the dog poop and plastic bags that come its way. Here's a look inside.
Renewi Canada has done $8.5M in upgrades to accept pet waste in plastic bags
Renewi, the company that processes the city's organic waste, has done multiple upgrades to sort out the plastic bags from compostable material. General Manager Mike Leopold spoke to CBC News about the changes. 1:31
The company that processes food and yard waste from Ottawa green bins has finished a $8.5-million upgrade at its facility in the rural south end and can now handle the dog poop and plastic bags that come its way.
Renewi Canada, formerly called Orgaworld under its previous owners, has retrofitted its shredder so it can rip the bags open.
It's also installed new equipment to manage odours so it only emits a "peaty" smell.
Neither Renewi nor the City of Ottawa can say whether allowing people to compost plastic bags has led to more people using green bins.
They're waiting to analyze tonnage from November to March, when the quantity of green bin matter doesn't fluctuate because of yard waste.
"Everything we've done with the expansion is obviously to help the Ottawa green bin program, but we've made it very robust knowing what volumes could come from the province of Ontario as well," said general manager Mike Leopold.
Renewi, which was recently bought by a Dutch investment firm, hopes to seek contracts with outlying towns if Ontario requires municipalities to keep food waste out of landfills by 2022, he said.
On Thursday, the company opened its doors to the media for a rare behind-the-scenes look at what happens to your organic waste after it's hauled from the curb.
The CBC's Kate Porter visits the facility that processes all the green bin waste that is collected across the city. 8:30
Kate Porter covers municipal affairs for CBC Ottawa. Over the past 15 years, she has also produced in-depth reports for radio, web and TV, regularly presented the radio news, and covered the arts beat.