Friday, January 04, 2013

Green bin waste composter faces odour fine

Orgaworld operations manager Greg Mariotti says the company has launched an appeal of a Dec. 27 court decision in which the company and a former manager were convicted and fined. “We are appealing both the convictions and the fines,” he says. Orgaworld and the former manager were fined $44,500 in London’s provincial offences court for “failing to comply with a ministry approval and requirements related to operations at its compost facility.” The Dec. 27 court decision relates to charges laid following a Ministry of the Environment (MOE) investigation into odour complaints at the company’s London facility in 2007-2008. In the Dec. 27 court decision, the company was fined $37,000 plus victim fine surcharges. Former operations manager Steven Mark Van Manen was fined $7,500 plus victim fine surcharges. They were given 90 days to pay. They also received suspended sentences for failing to comply with the written notification. MOE spokesperson Kate Jordan says the convictions relate to “operating a waste disposal site not in accordance with ministry approval.” She says odour complaints from local residents and business owners were received beginning in August 2007. “An order was issued (by the ministry) in the spring of 2008,” Jordan says, “and the investigation and charges stem from that.” She says the order related to an outdoor curing pad. The order required “that they transfer all processing and composting of organic waste indoors.” Jordan says a second investigation into odour complaints dates to the spring and summer of 2010 and relates to odours emitting from the plant generally. That investigation led to a further 24 charges that were laid in February 2012. A pre-trial in provincial offences court on those charges in December 2012 was adjourned to Feb. 4, 2013. The charges stemming from the 2010 investigation are against the company and its president Henricus J. M. Kasdkens. In July of 2010, Jordan says, Orgaworld agreed to suspend operations. They removed all material from the plant and spent $5 million on a plant upgrade intended to deal with odour issues. Orgaworld composts green bin waste from a number of Ontario municipalities. They have two Ontario facilities, one in London and one in Ottawa. The final compost product is sold to Ontario farmers to fertilize fields. Some of the material from the Ottawa plant is also used for animal bedding.

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