Solid waste authority to issue RFP for organic waste processing – Windsor Star

In an effort to comply with looming provincial waste diversion targets — and keep organic refuse out of landfills — the Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority’s board has opted to issue a request for proposals for an organics processing provider.

The authority’s board this week finalized and approved an RFP that, once issued, would see kitchen scraps processed separately from the region’s other trash in a few years’ time.

An overview of the RFP states the processing contractor must be experienced in organics waste processing and provide one or more facilities to receive and process material from Windsor and Essex County. They must also transport and dispose of residue, and do marketing of the “end product,” for “beneficial use,” like compost for fertilizer or renewable natural gas. The facility must be located in Ontario.

The solid waste authority will be responsible for collecting the organics waste, delivering it to the contracted processing facility, and promoting and educating the program “to maximize green bin participation and capture rates, and minimize contamination.”

An oversight committee hopes to select a preferred contractor by this summer, after which it may take up to two years to secure the necessary processing capacity. The RFP does not define a specific start date, since various municipalities in the region have different waste collection contracts.

“But the target would be to begin services at the beginning of 2025 at the latest,” Tracy Beadow, project administrator for the City of Windsor, told the board on Tuesday. “If possible, if we can start earlier, then so be it.”

For several years, the authority has been working to establish a regional organics waste collection program to achieve compliance with Ontario diversion targets before the province’s 2025 deadline. The Waste Free Ontario Act requires a bigger municipality like Windsor to divert 70 per cent of its organic material and start curbside collection. Smaller municipalities — LaSalle, Tecumseh, Amherstburg, and Leamington — do not require curbside collection, but must provide collection through a public drop-off depot or community composting area for 50 per cent diversion. Kingsville, Essex, and Lakeshore, which have even smaller populations and lower population densities, don’t have to divert organics at all.

Both Windsor city council and Essex County council have advised the solid waste authority that they will participate in a regional organics waste program. However, representatives from the Town of Essex and the Town of Kingsville voted against participation at county council. An email from the Town of Kingsville to the authority dated March 16 states town council passed a motion to not participate in the regional program.

Despite opposition from the two municipalities, the county has directed the solid waste authority to proceed with a plan that includes the county as a whole.

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