Municipal Environment Committee seeking community input on composting
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Environment Committee is seeking to explore community input on composting, via an online survey. The Environment Committee shared that every year the committee reviews its work plan, which lists several areas that the Committee members feel are important to direct their effort. They added, “One item that has been identified over several years has been composting.”
“Essentially, what the Committee is looking to establish is how many people are composting, and how many are interested. From there we want to know what scale of composting interest them, such as, just in their own backyard, or if something on a larger scale would be supported by people. The Committee also wants to understand any barriers that might exist, which prevent people from composting. We are using this feedback to help direct the Committee’s efforts going forward,” the Committee shared.
The Committee is asking community members to share their thoughts and feedback on composting through an eight question survey available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7WTJ6TT. The survey will be available until Sunday, March 21. Depending on the community feedback received, the Committee hopes to get the collected information complied by spring, and begin working on some options through the summer.
The Environment Committee, which is an Advisory Committee to Municipal Council, has developed this survey to understand community requirements for composting, which may help inform recommendations the Committee may make to Council respecting waste management processes and activities. They shared, “Often the dialogue around composting would lead in many different directions, but with no clear path to how this could be incorporated into the community. So this year, we determined that we can not move forward with any recommendations to Council until we have a clear understanding of what the needs/wants from the community are in this regard.”
The Environment Committee shared that composting offers numerous benefits; it promotes the production of locally sourced soil that can be used to grow local food, instead of trucking it in from miles away. It also diverts waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill, thereby saving people money, and prolonging the life of the Municipal Landfill. Lastly, it helps reduce the creation of greenhouse gas methane, which is a by-product of decomposition of organic waste without oxygen (in other words, buried in a plastic bag at a landfill).
“The most important factor in this is to develop a strategy that fits the community’s needs/wants and build on it from there. We want to see composting succeed in Sioux Lookout, and ensure any strategy we develop grows with the Community,” they concluded.