Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Recycling and Waste

Business and Institutional Organic Materials Separation

Less Waste Means Better Business: The Solid Waste-Resource Management Strategy

What would be better business than creating a valuable product from waste? What could be more creative and efficient than turning a problem into an opportunity? This is exactly what Nova Scotian companies and municipalities are doing and much of the credit for this good business sense goes to the Province's Solid Waste-Resource Management Strategy.

The Strategy has set the stage for Nova Scotians to divert 50% of our waste from disposal by 2000. Less waste delivered to municipal disposal sites means an improved environment, more prosperous communities, and new business opportunities. To achieve these benefits, the Province has banned compostable organic material from disposal.

Compostable organic material includes the following groups:

  • Food waste (including meat, fish, bones and dairy products)
  • Leaf and yard waste
  • Non-recyclable paper products.

Keeping these valuable materials out of disposal sites produces the following benefits:

  • Fewer and safer disposal sites;
  • Reduction of leachate (landfill run-off);
  • Reduction in methane (a global warming gas);
  • A valuable product to enhance soil (for the growth of stronger, healthier plants);
  • New business opportunities; and
  • New jobs

As you can see, we really are turning a problem into an opportunity.

What the Strategy Means to Nova Scotia Business?

Compostable organic material must be source-separated and delivered to a composting facility.

More and more proactive Nova Scotia businesses and institutions are diverting their food and yard waste from disposal. In general terms, there are two things to consider: first, how to separate the organics at source; and second, what to do with the collected organics.


Source-separation means collecting organic materials in containers separate from the waste stream. Organizing collection areas with specially marked containers and educating employees as to "which materials go where" is central to successful source-separation.

Businesses and institutions are using a variety of containers to collect their organics. Reusable plastic bins and compostable bags are among the most popular.

Composting the Organics

Most businesses contract with haulers to take their organic materials to centralized composting facilities. There they are shredded, composted, and the final product sold as a product to enhance soil.

Some businesses have found ways to compost their organic materials on-site. Options for do-it- yourself composting range from simple backyard composting to high-tech composters that can handle tonnes of materials per week.

What works best will depend on factors such as amounts of material produced, distance to the nearest composting facility, and space available.

Contact your hauler, your local municipality, or the Resource Recovery Fund Board (RRFB) Information Line at 1-800-665-LESS (5377) to find out how your organization can divert these materials most cost-effectively.

What the Strategy Means to Nova Scotia?

Less waste means fewer and safer disposal sites, a cleaner environment and a stronger economy. Nova Scotia is moving into the next century with a sustainable vision and a will to ensure that our natural resources are protected and business opportunities are maximized for future generations.

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