Three Streams are Better Than Two: Composting at Innovation Place

February 1, 2019, was a long-awaited day for Gaelan McGregor, Facilities Manager at Innovation Place in Saskatoon. That day brought the result of nearly two years of planning with waste and recycling service provider Loraas: it marked the beginning of a five-month pilot phase of Innovation Place’s first composting program.

The introduction of composting is an expansion of Innovation Place’s existing contract with Loraas, and transforms our waste management into a three-stream system to now include organics in addition to recycling and garbage.

The two buildings selected to participate in the pilot program are those with on-site food services—The Atrium and The Concourse. The new compost bins allow tenants to compost plant matter, fruit, vegetables, coffee and tea—all items that biodegrade quickly and, when kept out of the landfill, break down into a nutrient-rich material that can be returned to the earth.

Throughout the pilot, Gaelan will monitor the use of the new waste management stream in three ways:

First, with the help of the evening cleaners who collect the compost from the tenant kitchens and common area bins, she will be kept aware of what—and how much of it—goes into the bins. 

Second, the weight of the waste generated will be compared to that from before the pilot, with a goal to see a reduction in the garbage stream as the compost stream is used. 

Third, Gaelan will arrange for a third party to conduct waste audits of all three streams to gain a better understanding of the volume and types of goods leaving the park.

By the end of the pilot, Gaelan will have a collection of raw data about the use of the compost option. The data will guide the following rollout of the composting program to the rest of the park. 

How can you help make this pilot a success? There are several ways to get involved with this initiative. 

  • Refer to the green scene for tips and helpful resources, like a list of what can go into the compost bins, including many of the takeaway containers available from the Atrium Café and the Concourse Coffee Lounge.
  • Watch the scene for composting articles, notices and the dates of upcoming Sustainability Session seminars to stay current with what can be composted as the program evolves. For example, Loraas plans to grow their composting program to accept things they can’t right now, like proteins and baked goods.
  • And, finally, be sure to attend Sustainability Series: Organics on February 19, 2019 to arm yourself with composting information straight from Gaelan and representatives from Loraas.

- February 8, 2019