For almost seven years, Compost Montréal has been offering over 1,000 residents and 120 businesses a weekly, year-round pickup service of organic waste, which is composted on a city-owned site. However, this site will be closing down as of June 1, 2014 so that it can be turned into a parking lot -- meaning that Compost Montréal subscribers will face major changes in their service.
According to the Montreal Gazette:
The [Sud-Ouest] borough is repurposing a lot it owns, which it had used for years to dispose of its green waste. The lot, located on Notre-Dame St. W., at the corner of Place Turcot in the Ville-Émard district, will be converted into storage for public works vehicles and roadwork material, like sand, gravel and salt. [..]
Stephen McLeod, the founder and director general of Compost Montreal, said the for-profit company relies on the free use of the Sud-Ouest borough’s compost site to provide an affordable service for its customers. If it can’t have access to that, it will likely have to use a compost site located off the island, which would charge a tipping fee, and likely mean higher costs for Compost Montreal customers.
“We have been able to convince people at $5 a week, and they have been happy to pay it, but beyond that, it seems a little unfair,” McLeod said.
It's an unfortunate turn of events; I myself was once a subscriber for two years before moving off Montréal Island, and was happy to reduce my household waste in this manner, in addition to receiving a bag of finished, agricultural-grade compost at the end of the year, delivered to my door. The company, which started as a one-man operation on a bike, now employs over a dozen people, offers an affordable alternative as Montréal has yet to offer city-wide program for the collection of organic waste.
According to Compost Montréal, their subscribers are not the only ones who will be negatively impacted by the site's closure; a number of schools, hospitals and even the police calvary benefit from this composting site that handles over 6500 tonnes of organic matter per year.
Compost Montréal is aiming to collect at least 10,000 signatures in an online petition to keep the site open; check out more info over at the Montreal Gazette, Compost Montréal and sign the petition here.