Utilities Kingston is looking to get into the composting business.
The city-run sector has its eye on the Knox Farm property — which is around 185 acres just north of the 401 off Division Street — as the space to develop a composting centre for household green bin waste, and to generate bio-gas energy.
“A facility like this would take two different waste streams that are generated from the city, and — again I don’t want to oversimplify it myself — mix them together to create a bio-gas,” said Heather Roberts, the water and wastewater services director with Utilities Kingston.
It’s all part of the city’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate renewable energy, in keeping with the city’s goal of becoming the most sustainable municipality in Canada.
“The development that is being contemplated here will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of five to eight acres,” said Roberts.
“At this point I would say there’s a major interest given the location,” said Mike Dakin, the Cataraqui Conservation Resource Planner. The Knox property is next door to the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area.
For now, Cataraqui Conservation doesn’t appear to have concerns with the proposal.
“The fact that there’s already use on the site with the city’s snow dump — the two uses can coexist, I believe, with some degree because of that, especially if the development footprint is kept to that area of pre-disturbance and, more importantly, kept well away from the conservation area and trial which runs near to there,” explained Dakin.
Both parties realize completion of the project, which is very much in the early stages, is still several years away.
“We will be doing lots of public consultation and engagement to bring awareness about the project and be able to engage with the public on their thoughts and feelings about this kind of development at Knox Farm,” said Roberts.
The city currently contracts out green bin composting to the Tomlinson facility on Joyceville Road.
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