Dysart, HE make composters, digesters available to residents
By Chad Ingram
The municipalities of Dysart et al and Highlands East will be making composters and digesters available for sale for residents, beginning as early as this week for the composters.
The two municipalities have put in a bulk order for items, which residents will use at home for the disposal of organic waste.
“Right now, it’s Highlands East and Dysart going forward with this initiative,” Mallory Bishop, environmental co-ordinator for Dysart et al told councillors during a July 23 meeting, adding if the county’s other municipalities chose to opt in, they could purchase the devices from Dysart.
The bulk order, which cost just more than $7,200, was for 80 composters and 50 digesters. The municipalities will sell them at a rate of cost recovery, meaning they will be cheaper for residents than purchasing them from a store. The composters will sell for $39 (that includes tax), and the digesters for $83.
“I think it’s very important that we support this,” said Councillor Larry Clarke, adding that unlike some other municipalities, the county’s local governments have no stream for organic waste. “Composting at the home level is the only option we’ve got at this point in time.”
Councillor John Smith, who sits on the environment and climate change committee from which the project came, said he anticipated the composters could be available this week, the digesters a little while later.
“People are familiar with the composters, the digester is a bit of a different technology,” Smith said, adding that digesters can be used to process things such as meat byproducts and other matter not intended for traditional composters.
“I think they will sell very quickly,” said Mayor Andrea Roberts, anticipating the program would be successful, and confirming the municipality would order more if it ran out.
Citizen group Environment Haliburton is making a video promoting the practice of composting, Smith noted.
During a July 24 meeting of Haliburton County council, Environment Haliburton member Susan Hay made a presentation to councillors, part of which stressed the importance of composting. Hay said part of the video would address the fear of attracting bears, “which seems to be one of the major hurdles,” in terms of getting people to compost.
Hay encouraged the county’s other two municipalities – Minden Hills and Algonquin Highlands – to get involved with the composting program.
“Algonquin Highlands had composters for years,” said Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt, adding the township could consider doing it again.