MMSB open to partnering on getting Grenfell composter back in operation

Diane Crocker dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Published on August 19, 2016

STAR FILE PHOTO

The industrial composter at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland in Corner Brook.

As one of partners from the beginning, the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) was disappointed to learn that Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland was suspending the operation of its industrial composter.

“MMSB is a passionate advocate of organics waste management,” said chief executive officer Mike Samson on Thursday.

“We understand the importance of it from a waste diversion perspective and we understand and believe in the importance of it from an environmental perspective.”

At the same time, Samson said, the board understands Grenfell has difficult decisions to make in the context of its financial situation.

The university will save $90,000 a year by shutting down the composter.

The MMSB provided $100,000 through its Waste Management Trust Fund to finance the capital costs, training and education associated with the composter in the partnership with Grenfell and College of the North Atlantic.

Samson said the MMSB had a contribution agreement with Grenfell for a five-year partnership and as such has no legal claim to the composter.

“This was in many respects as much about what we could learn from the application of this kind of technology in Newfoundland as it was about the actual waste to be diverted,” he said.

“It’s one of a variety of technologies that will ultimately have application in Newfoundland and Labrador as we move forward with large scale organic waste management.”

Samson said the MMSB is interested in discussing renewing the partnership with Grenfell or pursuing it in a different way in an effort to keep the technology working.

In the alternative, the board is prepared to consider a partnership with somebody else.

But Samson said it is still early days and the discussions with Grenfell have to be started first.