On Monday, February 25, thirty people braved a snowstorm to attend an information session on brown bins at the Centre Lac-Brome. What did they find out?

We are running out of space in landfills. About 57% of what we put in the garbage is organic matter that can be composted and so transformed from rubbish to valuable matter. To reduce the pressure on landfill space, it is the intent of Quebec to divert 100% of our organic waste from landfills into composting by 2020 This is an aggressive target that may not be met but already 2.5 million Quebec households are using brown bins.

The focus at the moment is on single-dwelling residential. Apartments will be brought into the program later.

Our local composting site is in Cowansville and will be in full production this spring. Currently the waste is being stored in a large shelter. When temperatures rise above freezing, it will be moved outside in rows where a machine will turn it. It takes between six months to a year to transform the waste into high quality compost that can then be used to help grow plants in our gardens and on farms.

Critical to the quality of the product is how well we, at home, separate what goes into the brown bin. Full details of what we should put into the brown bins and also what we should avoid can be easily found on the MRC website bmvert.ca

There are many useful tips on the website as well, but the following are some that are relevant for the winter and freezing weather. Line the bottom of the bin with newspaper or use a brown paper bag. Waxed, lined or coated paper should be avoided.