The implementation of food waste collection is causing headaches in the high-rise buildings of Montreal, which will all have brown bins by 2025.
“Imagine a building where 400 people will take compost to see how much it will cost. The smell in the garage is going to be scary,” says Ian Towarnicki, manager of the Verrières bank, in the L’Île-des-Sœurs region.
In this complex of five 18- to 27-tower buildings, residents deposit their waste in a tunnel that leads to a dunghill in the cellar. For recycling, they offer bins at the base.
Mr. Towarnicki does not see how this system can be adapted to organic materials.
“If everyone is walking around in the elevator with their bags of onion pods and chicken carcasses, I don’t think people are going to be happy,” he said.
He will have to find a solution quickly, because he wants to expand the collection of food waste to all municipalities by 2025.
In Montreal, all buildings with nine units or less currently have access to a brown bin.
Installment on buildings with nine or more units, but the city needs to move forward to reach its goal (see below).
The training will be done this year for 92,000 units in ten boroughs, including Verdun, where the river Verrières is located.
“We know there will be a seat, but we don’t know the details. We are in the middle of nowhere,” laments Mr. Towarnicki.
He says he doesn’t have help from the city to implement a system that will encourage residents to join.
“It’s not that we don’t want compost, we want to make it as efficient as possible. If it smells bad in the garage, he will not be happy, they give,” he believes.
Denis Clavet, who completed the yellow bins in his 60-unit building in east Montreal five years ago, insists that the group has not overlooked the conclusion.
“We don’t have a participation of 60 co-owners, maybe 20 or 25”, notes the one who sat on the board of directors of the co-dominion syndicate when the collection was established.
“There are still some who have stories that smell bad, or they don’t want to deal with another element in their daily life,” he speculates.
Instead of restoring the co-owners and managers of Quebec, the city is simply not paying attention to the reality of large condominium buildings.
“This is a complex set up. Some buildings were not built with this type of health in mind. There was already a paper recycling tool implementing something,” says President Yves Joli-Coeur.
“We don’t forget that there are volunteers who are on the boards of directors, the city should help them, they should be on the front line,” he insists.
A Titanic challenge is still a long way off
The city of Montreal is still a long way from its plan to extend food waste collection to all buildings with nine or more houses by 2025, a “titanic” task, according to an expert.
In all, 92,000 housing units in this type of site have access to the collection, ie, a quarter of 350,000.
The tool has started in nine of the 19 boroughs and should continue in 2023 and 2024.
“We are opening 100,000 doors in 2023, 100,000 in 2024 and we will complete it in 2025,” explains Marie-Andrée Mauger, head of the environment in Valerie Plante’s office.
It shows the deployment of complete units of nine rooms or less, both in all CEGEPs and in half of the primary schools and in two universities.
A “titanic” business
“The city is not behind, but we are not in front of us either,” begins the Quebec director of the Common Front for the ecological management of waste, Karel Ménard.
According to him, the task is “titanic” insofar as all the buildings are not adapted to the collection of food waste (see another text).
Ms. Mauger points out that the office of the borough and the boroughs are responsible for agreeing with the personnel to find the most efficient collection.
He says the “wall-to-wall” solution isn’t the same as the various condo towers compared to smaller condominiums.
According to Karel Ménard, awareness remains the key to encouraging citizens to participate in the collection.
There are no sources of odors or harm. What you’re looking for is more precise management, to manage the source, but people are very lacking in information,” he said.
It indicates that 7% of greenhouse gases in Quebec are attributable to land organic matter, which, however, has the potential to increase if it is combined or converted into natural gas.