Local Solutions to Local Compost Issues

Listening to the CBC Early Edition this morning and it was interesting to hear about Luke’s Corner Bar and Kitchen’s attempts to deal with their own compost waste in-house.

Luke's Corner Bar Fresh Herb Garden
Luke’s Corner Bar Fresh Herb Garden

However, first a little background on compostable waste. Currently there is a move to separate compostable waste out of the garbage “stream” and waste management businesses are getting involved in dealing with our compostable waste. And when business gets involved, it is usually in an effort to profit.

Garbage, or waste management companies tend to deal with compostables and garbage on an industrial scale. Obviously they want to make money from our waste and to do that, they need a massive “stream” of waste coming into their processing facilities.

What happens then is that they develop these industrial scale compost sites like Harvest Power in Richmond, BC. Industrial scale waste and compost processing facilities tend to upset many of their neighbours with the strong odors that come from their processing facilities.

So why not have people deal with their own waste in their own city or even their own business without shipping it into somebody else’s neighbourhood thus making it someone else’s problem?

And that is exactly what Luke’s Corner Bar and Kitchen is doing. They have installed a composting unit from Urban Stream that takes all the compostable waste from their restaurant and turns it into soil so that they can grow food crops right on their own site!

The compost units from Urban Stream may be a solution that can help us get away from the industrial scale model of compost and waste. And an interesting fact about the on-site composting units is that the financial costs to the restaurant business are comparable to having the waste hauled away to an industrial site.

It is time for more local businesses and communities to deal with their own waste in their own neighbourhoods. Hats off to Luke’s Corner Bar and Kitchen for taking ownership of their waste.