Compost research

There has been much back-and-forth on this issue, so how to bridge the gap?

There has been much back-and-forth on this issue, so how to bridge the gap?

On the pro side, the rhetoric boils down to: “composting is good, and farms smell … get over it.”

But there are smells and then there are smells.

Having lived near agricultural areas all my life, I am used to farm smells.

When manure is spread, the air is ripe for a few hours at a time (a few days at worst) and even when the smells aren’t necessarily pleasant, they always have that natural, earthy, organic undertone.

The odour coming from Foundation Organics resembles the odours of vomit and putrefaction and are from the processing of food wastes that are not usual to farming operations.

I think we can all agree that as our world shrinks and wastes grow, we definitely need to be more proactive and responsible about how we process our waste materials as a society.

But that doesn’t mean that giving those food-based materials to a farming operation to compost in traditional fashion is the best – or even the only – answer to the problem.

When the Regional District of Nanaimo instituted the mandatory processing of commercial food waste a number of years ago (which was expanded into curb-side composting collection), the contract was given to ICC Group (located in Duke Point), which uses a process involving large drum digesters which heat and break down food waste.

This process occurs in a mostly sealed environment to prevent the kinds of odours that we in Tanner Ridge have all been choking on.

The CRD needs to investigate and work with a company (or companies) that are willing to invest in the appropriate facilities to properly compost food wastes without stinking out the neighbours.

This is the win/win solution we need in Central Saanich.

Andree Penrice

Tanner Ridge