Residents can now put out their organic garden waste for pick up
The borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension kicked off its at-home green waste collection for the summer season last week, accepting all kinds of garden waste and organic material.
This means that residents will be able to drop off organic garden waste on the curb to be picked up by the city. “Green waste is organic waste: grass clippings, dead leaves, spring cleaning and gardening residues, etc,” said the borough.
Spring cleaning and gardening waste collection started on Apr. 13 and will run until Nov. 16. Residents can check the city’s online services portal to get the exact times of pick up for their street.
“Turning this material into compost is a great way to beautify your neighbourhood and reduces the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of,” continued the borough.
Compost produced by the organic waste will then be redistributed to residents free of charge twice a year, both in the spring and in the fall for people to reuse in their gardens.
Many types of organic waste accepted
Types of organic waste that are accepted for pickup include grass cuttings, dead leaves, stubble residue, horticultural residue, vines and branches from conifers, deciduous trees and cedar hedges.
Branches must be under 1 m (3.3ft) in length and must not have a diameter of over 5 cm (2in). They must be tied together in a bundle with a natural fibre chord to facilitate their processing.
All other organic residues can be put in either cardboard boxes, paper compost bags, transparent plastic bags or reusable rigid containers like compost bins.
Pick-up days for Park Extension are set for Wednesdays. If you miss the collection date, the borough encourages residents to “take your organic materiel (including branches over 5 cm in diameter) to the nearest Ecocentre to be composted,” wrote the borough.
The borough also suggests other solutions if residents miss the pick-up days including adding plants to your private garden compost and keeping your organic waste on your property until the next collection period.
As a last resort, the borough says to put organic waste in your household waste, which will then be treated as waste and will not be composted.
Bigger buildings are eligible, but not in Park Extension
Last year the city announced they would expand their organic waste and compost collection program to buildings with nine or more units, but Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension is still not included.
“We know now that the landfills we have for putting the garbage in will be full in the next 10 years. So we need another option,” said Jean-François Parenteau, executive committee member responsible for city services.
Currently only 6 boroughs are participating in the program, including Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Pierrefonds—Roxboro, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, Saint-Léonard, Saint-Laurent and LaSalle. The service is only offered in certain sectors of these boroughs.
This is part of the city’s ecological transition plan, aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050. The city said that the collection of organic waste could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030.
Many composting plants still missing
Although the city has expanded its organic waste management capacity over the last years, much of the infrastructure needed to process it is still lacking.
In June 2021, Montreal’s auditor general pointed out that none of the five compost management plants promised by the Tremblay administration in 2013 had yet been built.
A total of $237-million was promised in 2013 to build organic waste treatment plants in the east, west, south and north ends but none have yet been built.
Certain exclusions apply
Although the city’s services accept a variety of organic waste, there are certain limits to what is eligible for collection.
Tree and plant branches over 5 cm (2 in) in diameter tree stumps or trunks are not permitted in the roadside pick-up plan. Residents can bring these to a local Ecocentre.
Animal litter, food residues, stones and earth are also not eligible for pickup. Residents are asked to respect rules surrounding organic waste pickup and permitted times to avoid potential fines.
Any organic material that does not fit the criteria set for at-home pickup can also be brought to a local Ecocentre where it will be dealt with properly. The closest is Ecocentre Acadie, on Henri-Bourassa Boulevard.
If residents have any questions on the pickup of waste by the city, more information is available on the city’s website or by contacting them by phone at (514) 872-0311.