Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Giants of garbage staking claim on our organics

As reported a couple days ago, the garbage industry is recognizing that landfilling is "flatlining" and they are looking for future growth opportunities. The biggest one looming is biodegradable organics -- up to half our waste is biodegradable and there is big money to be made as local communities get serious about keeping these volatile materials out of landfills.

Already, Wall Street and the Giants of Garbage are laying claim to the territory.

Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre was their first target. It is a family owned company (mainly in the business of hauling wood chips) that has been processing Metro Vancouver yard trimmings for the past several years. The company just signed a modest contract with Metro to process 50,000 tonnes of mixed food scraps and yard trimmings. The City of Vancouver will shortly announce that they have signed a separate contract and will begin shipping mixed yard trimmings and food scraps in the spring.

This was enough for Fraser Richmond to be snapped up by a bigger company called Harvest Power.

With typical Wall Street hype, Harvest is describing this primitive little facility as "the largest composting facility in North America."

Also, Harvest Power touts itself as a company with "industry leading technologies" but it turns out Fraser Richmond is the only plant they have "up and running." And the Fraser Richmond facility is in fact a very simple windrow composting operation that has never done the anaerobic digestion process that Harvest is marketing as its key product.

Now Harvest has signed a deal with garbage giant Waste Management Inc.

Is this a sign that the garbage industry is re-inventing itself as a composting industry -- or will all this go up in a puff of Wall Street smoke and mirrors?

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