"Zero waste" objective in the Borough's municipal buildings - Verdun becomes
the first Montréal municipality with industrial composter

VERDUN, QC, Sept. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Verdun Borough is becoming the first municipality to equip itself with an industrial composter that can collect the organic waste of the Borough's municipal buildings as well as that from companies and organizations. This is the first step of a plan to extend the composting service to all Verdunites.

This pilot project was unveiled today at Verdun's municipal greenhouses, in the presence of Alan DeSousa, member of Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee and responsible for sustainable development; Claude Trudel, Verdun Borough Mayor; and Ginette Marotte, City Councillor and Chair of the Verdun Borough's Environment Committee.

Described by Mayor Trudel as an "innovative initiative", the materialization of this pilot project will make it possible to annually process some 175 metric tons of waste and produce 70 tons of compost, which will reduce the amount of landfill waste. "We will therefore succeed in cutbacks in processing costs and the penalties issued for landfilling waste," Mayor Trudel pointed out.

"Thanks to our new policy on waste collections, implemented in October 2008, we have been able to increase the rate of recycling in Verdun; however, we must do more, because food leftovers and green waste account for nearly 45% of residential waste. We have therefore opted to convert organic materials at the source," stated Mayor Trudel.

"The Verdun Borough project is perfectly in keeping with our sustainable development policy. The implementation of this pilot project in Verdun will make it possible to decide whether it is feasible to install other composters of this type on Ville de Montréal territory," Mr. DeSousa was delighted to mention.

"It is a win-win solution," added Mrs. Marotte. "Not only are we eliminating the costs of transportation to the landfill sites, thereby diminishing the amount of greenhouse gases, but we are also substantially trimming the costs associated with processing waste as well as the penalty related to each metric ton of waste that we send to the landfill sites," she explained.

The organic waste suppliers

The Douglas Mental Health University Centre, the Réseau d'entraide de Verdun (R.E.V.E.) and IGA Champagne supermarket will become the first suppliers of organic materials. On the other hand, soiled paper towels as well as food leftovers from the Verdun Borough's buildings (Borough Hall, the public works building, Centre culturel, Centre communautaire Elgar and Centre communautaire Marcel-Giroux), in particular, may be disposed of in the composter.

"We are aiming for "zero waste" in our municipal buildings," said Mrs. Marotte.

In the long term, other suppliers, or "generators", may be included in this project, depending on the actual amounts to be processed. The Réseau d'entraide de Verdun expects to generate approximately 75 metric tons of organic materials annually; the IGA Champagne as well as the Douglas Mental Health University Centre forecast that they will each be generating 25 tons. The rest will come from the Borough's municipal buildings.

Measuring 4.9 metres, with a diameter of 1.9 metres, the composter was installed at Verdun's greenhouses, an ideal place for this type of equipment.

Setting up this composter is the second phase of an offensive on the part of the Verdun Borough to reduce the waste that is sent to landfill sites. On October 20, 2008, the Borough introduced new methods of collecting waste, in the interest of sustainable development. In Verdun, there is only one collection per week for recyclables and waste from now on, and only one single collection per month for bulky items. Verdun residents have overwhelmingly cooperated in all this: from 2007 to 2008, the recycling rate increased from 47% to 53%. The target for 2009 is 60%-the Québec government's objective.

SOURCE Communiqués Montréal

For further information: For further information: Francine Morin, Responsable du protocole et des relations publiques, Verdun Borough, (514) 765-7282, francine.morin@verdun.ca

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