Local couple motivates community to compost, raising environmental consciousness
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
A Sioux Lookout couple, Jamie MacLeod and Trisha Cordes, are sharing space on their farm and inviting members of the community to join in on their endeavour to compost. Aiming to benefit the environment and keep items from piling up in the landfills, the duo introduced a Compost Pilot Program.
MacLeod and Cordes shared, “We have been brainstorming ways to grow our compost pile and, hopefully, motivate others to do the same and become more environmentally conscious.” They added, “We are aware, however, that not everyone has the space to do so, so we wanted to help support others in being able to give back to the earth while keeping unnecessary items from going to the landfill.”
The two shared that they decided to start this personal initiative of a pilot compost program to understand the kind of interest that may exist amongst the community of Sioux Lookout. MacLeod and Cordes simply picked a day and started this work. They had shared posts on the Sioux Lookout Area Events and Services Facebook Page, informing people of their schedule for public contributions. MacLeod and Cordes planned to be situated at the Travel Information Centre from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for four consecutive Wednesdays, starting July 28, with today (August 18) being their final day of collecting compostable items.
“Astonishingly, over 60 per cent of Ontario’s food waste is sent to landfills and we want to do our part to help, and help other’s as well, if interested, to lower this percentage,” shared MacLeod and Cordes. A September 2020 Ontario news release confirms the percentage of Ontario’s food waste that ends up in landfills. It further adds, “When this material ends up in landfills, it creates methane, which is 28 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide when measured over a 100-year period. In Canada, $31 billion worth of food is wasted annually.”
Some of the most evident benefits of this Compost Pilot Program include a decrease in food waste going to the landfills and a decrease in the household cost of garbage bag tags, along with being greatly beneficial to the environment.
MacLeod and Cordes explained, “Composting is a natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich soil and plants. There is a range of environmental benefits which include: improving soil health, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the amount of carbon stored in the soil, mitigating the impact of droughts, and recycling nutrients.” They added, “It is our hope that the program runs all year long, although this will depend upon the interest and participation from the community.”
MacLeod and Cordes shared that even though they did not receive the expected response, they are optimistic that this project will grow with time and bring more community awareness. “So far there hasn’t been a very big turn out, however, the few people that have participated seem very happy that we are providing a space for them to drop off their compostable materials. We have received kitchen food scraps, as well as multiple bags of leaves. We are open to feedback, suggestions and ideas around how to raise awareness and how to make this a success,” they shared. MacLeod and Cordes can be reached out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.