"Dump the Green Bin" Rally

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 11:00 AM
Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

A Rally for Better Local Governance

Organized by:


                       Ottawa Voters’ Coalition

For many residents in Ottawa, the Green Bin Program has become a symbol of bad decisions made at City Hall. Why is this program a bad idea?

Everyone supports landfill diversion. Dumps are expensive, smelly, toxic, and an eyesore. No one wants one in their back yard. The Green Bin Program is supposed to extend our need for another landfill site, at a cost of $150 million, for an additional 5 years. In other words, if the Trail Waste Facility is expected to last for another 20 years, it will last 25 years, if we all use the green bin.

The problem is that this is a very expensive program ($15 million per year) to extend the life of the landfill for another 5 years.  This program gives us a large (145,102 sq. ft.) industrial building on Hawthorne Road in Gloucester to process our kitchen waste. The program accepts ashes, bones, cat litter and other pet waste. Would you want to put this type of compost on your vegetable garden?

To coincide with the Copenhagen conference on climate change (read global warming), the City is putting more trucks on the road to carry our kitchen waste to the central processing plant. 

There are other options, for example, extended household composting and energy from waste programs. Across the street from City Hall, Ottawa University has put in place its own, on-site composting facility. This type of solution (local composting) is scalable for households, institutions and businesses. Was it considered for Ottawa? 

Where is the Integrated Waste Management Master Plan?  Are we moving towards energy from waste? “Britain is building 50 new waste to energy incinerators; Denmark’s environmental protection agency recommended … reroute(ing) parts of its recycling program to incinerators, … It’s done in Japan, in Europe, in Russia … we’re actually way behind on waste to energy in North America.” (from National Post, The recycling conundrum: How your blue bin hurts the environment. Friday, December 4, 2009 )

We are concerned about paying for a service we don’t get (rurals, businesses and highrises), having diapers added to the program, trucking organics for miles and miles when it’s not necessary, removal of incentives for people to compost, subsidizing one private company over another. Many Ottawa residents believe that the city acted most improperly by committing taxpayers to a blind 20-year contract with the same company that is still unsuccessful at producing saleable compost, in Toronto, after two years of operation.

We want better value for our tax dollar, more local decision making, and better consultation on expensive programs.