Ottawa’s Green Bin program is, if not exactly in full swing, then at least in semi-swing. There have been a few problems:
- The city suddenly realized that it was going to have problems meeting their contracted targets with OrgaWorld Canada. One of the issues seemed to be that the bins are too small to collect the 80,000 tonnes a year necessary.
- A lot of homeowners are miffed about the entire program; some refuse to use it; some have their own composters; some think the bins are too small; some just like to complain about everything the City does. But then there are other people who love their Green Bins a lot.
- Meanwhile, OrgaWorld, it seems, is not even operational enough yet to process the waste that has been collected so far. They have until April 1st or the City can cancel the whole contract. I wonder what will happen then?
- There was some significant hue and cry about the extra $68 per year the city will be charging each household in taxes in order to pay for the bins.
- And, as the warm weather slowly creeps over Ottawa, people are starting to worry about what this means for their Green Bins. Maggots will move in to enjoy the goodies. The bins full of compost will start to smell; which in turn will attract rodents. As the weeks go by the bins will get kind of gross and people will become more and more reluctant to use their Green Bins.
Well lo and behold, some smart cookies are capitalizing on this last issue and have formed a Green Bin cleaning company called Bin Aces Inc. They’ll come to your house or business with their magical cleaning truck and clean and disinfect your green bins, recycling bins and even garbage bins for a modest fee and on whatever schedule suits you best.
The coolest part of this company is that they are able to process and recycle the water they use for cleaning so that they can clean 200 bins using the same amount of water a regular joe would use to clean just two bins. They use only environmentally-friendly detergents and none of their waste water will contaminate our rivers, lakes or streams.
All cities with green bin programs have spawned these bin cleaning companies – not all of them are environmentally friendly and not all of their prices are this reasonable.
In the interests of full disclosure I should mention that while I’m not getting any benefits whatsoever from mentioning this company on my blog, the owners of Bin Aces are related to a co-worker of mine, which is how I heard about them.
I wanted to acknowledge them because I like to mention local, small business-owners – especially when they’re first starting out and they’re doing something interesting. Also, I don’t want to see the already beleaguered Green Bin program fizzle out because people will start to turn against their Green Bins when they’re no longer shiny-new and daisy-fresh…..which is likely to happen in the next six months.
So, while I know this is a very boring post for non-Ottawans, I’m hoping you’ll at least be amused over the fact that the capital city of Canada just recently got on board with a composting program – a good decade behind most other cities. Or, that you might be amused over the fact that Ottawa had about a thousand other cities from which to model a green bin program, and yet still managed to get so much of it screwed up.
Or, if you’re still bored, we can just talk about Paris some more.