News Release Archive

ENVIRONMENT--Minister Seeks Public Views on Composting
Environment Minister Wayne Adams wants to hear from the people of
Nova Scotia on the future of composting. The minister has
released draft guidelines for composting facilities and is asking
for public comment and suggestions. 

The Solid Waste Resource Management Strategy includes plans to
ban all compostable organics from landfills by Nov. 30, 1998. 

"We are about to embark on the next leg of the journey toward
greater environmental responsibility," said Mr. Adams. 
"Composting is environmentally friendly. We want to make it
people friendly as well."

The minister decided to go to the public for suggestions because
of concerns raised by citizens and departmental staff. A
departmental review of many composting facilities across Canada
raised questions about the compatibility of large-scale open
windrow (outdoor) facilities close to populated centres. 

"We want Nova Scotians to have the best possible guidelines to
ensure that the environment and quality of life will be
protected," said the minister. 

The draft guidelines include proposals to restrict meat, fish or
bones from being composted in open windrow facilities. Such
materials would only be composted using enclosed, in-vessel,
facilities with rigorous odour-control technology.

The guidelines also suggest increased distances between
composting facilities and their neighbours. For example, no
active composting facility is to be closer than 500 metres to the
nearest residential, institutional, commercial or industrial
building. The only exception would be if an operator could show
it had enhanced odour-control mechanisms. In that case, the
distance between the facility and its closest industrial or
commercial neighbour could be reduced to 250 metres. The
500-metre distance between composting facilities and residential
and institutional areas cannot be reduced without the written
approval of the residents.

To ensure composting is a benefit to the environmental equation,
the department is proposing strict operating conditions,
including extensive new conditions on leachate management and
groundwater protection. All discharge will have to meet or
surpass criteria in the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines.

Operators will be required to prepare regular reports on all
environmental aspects of their operations. Such information would
be provided to the department and available to the public.

Written comments on the draft guidelines will be accepted until
Oct. 31, 1997. They can be sent to Attn: Policy Planning and
Coordination Division, Department of the Environment, P.O. Box
2107, Halifax, B3J 3B7, fax 902-424-0501, or e-mail Final guidelines will be released by Dec. 15,

Copies of the draft guidelines are available at regional offices
of the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment, by calling
toll-free 1-800-567-7544, or at on the Internet.


Contact: Paul McEachern
         Department of the Environment

ngr                September 26, 1997                12:00 pm