The Smelly Hamilton Central Composting Facility Will Be Shut Down
Mayor Fred Eisenberger stated that he has talked to the general manager of public works Dan McKinnon on the matter of Hamilton’s smelly compost plant that has been “paralyzing” parts of the lower city for quite a while.
Dan McKinnon said that they plan to immediately shut down the Hamilton Central Composting Facility on Burlington Street East.
Eisenberger admitted that: “the [odor] is noticeable throughout the lower city and was very prominent at the Arkells concert last night.”
The facility opened in 2006, and it has been operated by Aim Environmental Group. The compost gathered from Hamilton, Halton and Simcoe County is almost 70,000 tonnes per year – generated by nearly 1,668,000 people.
Incompetence or Just Moist and Smelly Compost?
The response from the mayor came after he received an email from by East Hamilton Coun. Sam Merulla. Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Green and Sam Merulla demanded the composting plant to be shut down because of the “incompetence associated with the operation of the facility and the [odor] crisis paralyzing the lower city.”
Merulla and Green said that they’re also seeking “punitive measures” for the contractor and the management at Aim Environmental. On June 28, the councilor called for an in-camera meeting on the problem of the odor in the lower city.
Part of the smelly facility might be because of the last Ontario compost quality standards released by the Ministry of Environment in 2016. According to the last standards, the compost must be maintained at higher moisture as it is cured (40% moisture or greater). This means that the facility has to keep the compost damp, and it makes it smellier.
The provincial legislation led to a huge increase in odor complaints regarding the Hamilton Central Composting Facility – there were seven times more complaints in 2017 compared to the previous year.
The mayor concludes that the facility will have to “divert incoming compost to landfill until the issues are resolved.”
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