Honduras Rights Monitor

Springwater and other residents have been supporting and working with the Spring Family on behalf of Honduran human rights worker Edwin Espinal, being held along with 21 other political prisoners under horrific conditions in military prisons in Honduras, after being falsely arrested and imprisoned last January. Good background  and current information regarding this can be found on the Simcoe County

 

Honduras Rights Monitor site https://simcoecountyhondurasrightsmonitor.wordpress.com/. Tireless efforts by the Spring Family and much community support continues. On April 8th there was a well-attended community gathering of support in Elmvale hearing speakers, Karen Spring (Edwin’s spouse) and Janet Spring and good questions and discussion by attendees.

A motion of support is coming before Springwater Council during this week’s meeting, which will be forwarded to different political parties in an attempt to bring attention, support and resolution to this unjust situation.

 

Updates on Waste Management

2017 Waste Tonnage Review 

In 2017, approximately 86,400 tonnes of waste material was collected curbside in Simcoe County. The weekly combined garbage, organics, and blue box recyclables and seasonal collections diversion rate decreased slightly to 51.7% in 2017 from 52.3% in 2016. The volume of total curbside garbage increased by nearly 4.5%, with the component of organics increasing approximately 11.5%. Despite the significant increases in green bin organics, this area has the most potential for increasing the County’s diversion rate..

The County’s 2017 curbside battery collection resulted in over 24,038 kg or approximately 950,000 acceptable batteries being received, an increase of over 7.2% compared with 2016. The County collected the highest tonnage compared to all other municipalities in Ontario participating in the curbside battery collection program.

The County received approximately 62,000 tonnes of material, managed in the 21 diversion programs, at the County’s 8 waste management facilities, an increase of 15% over the previous year. The combined direct diversion rate for both curbside and facility managed tonnes was 60.3% in 2017, compared to 60.7% in 2016.

New Organics Processing Contract

Simcoe County’s existing Source Separated Organics (green bin) processing contract will expire on September 30, 2018. Council directed that staff explore a new contract to process organics until the County’s Organic Processing Facility (OPF) is operational in future and to explore the options of processing:  a) the existing type of organic materials b) existing organic materials plus pet waste c) existing organic materials plus pet waste and diapers/sanitary products. Staff tendered this and recommended that Cornerstone Renewables be the selected vendor. This company obtains feedstock for the processor, Woolwich Bio-En Inc., located in Elmira, Ontario. The Woolwich Bio-En facility processes municipal and commercial organics and process water utilizing wet anaerobic digestion technology to capture methane, which drives reciprocating engines to generate renewable energy that is sold back to the electrical grid. The vendor indicates that their process generates much of the electrical needs of the Town of Elmira. The process also creates a fertilizer product for direct application on local farms, including certified organic farms.

The newly proposed combined processing and transportation costs for just existing organics is $124.42 per tonne, existing organics plus pet waste is $144.42 per tonne and existing organics plus pet waste plus diapers/sanitary products is $144.42 per tonne.

Staff recommended that the County’s green bin program be expanded to accept just pet waste. They indicated that pet waste makes up 8% of curbside garbage, while diaper products make up 4% and that the residual inorganic material from diapers requires more retrieving and disposing into garbage than pet waste. Given the disposal cost per tonne under the new contract for pet waste is the same as pet waste plus diapers, I think it would be good to see the increased diversion results from collecting both pet waste and diapers, but County Council did not support my proposed amendment regarding this.

Annual cost for organics processing currently is budgeted at $1,580,000. The anticipated increased tonnages resulting from the inclusion of pet waste, are estimated to cost an additional $100,000 for the last three months of 2018 and an extra $400,000 for a full year, for a total of $1,980,000 for 2019.

The new proposed contract is for two years plus the option for a two-year extension. It appears therefore that starting this October 1, pet waste will be able to be included in your green bins rather than making its way to landfill sites. I would have liked to see both pet waste and diapers be included for this contract to see the results, but at least processing pet waste is good progress.