The Rural Municipality of Hanover is launching a pilot program for composting. As a result, residents of Mitchell will be able to wheel their compostable material to the end of their driveway, starting in September.

Chief Administrative Officer Luc Lahaie says this is a project they have been working on for about two years. He notes they ordered the bins back in December, but because of supply chain issues, they only arrived a couple of weeks ago. 

Lahaie explains this program is entirely voluntary. Mitchell residents can request a 66-gallon bin, which will be completely separate and in addition to their garbage and recycling bins. Mitchell residents have their garbage and recycling picked up on Wednesdays and Lahaie says the compost pickup will be done on Thursdays. 

According to Lahaie, the bins will be dropped off before the end of August. Included with the bin will be a flier that outlines what can and can not be composted. Lahaie says they will accept materials such as leaves, grass clippings and coffee grinds. He notes they do not want meat or anything that has been processed or cooked. The material can be placed directly into the bin.

The first automated pickup will be on September 8th. 

Lahaie says ideally they would love to run this program throughout the municipality. However, they will start with Mitchell in order to gauge the interest from residents living there. 

"If it's very successful then we'll roll out slowly to the other communities as we did initially when we did the automated garbage and recycling pickups," notes Lahaie.

He says 2024 is probably the earliest that it would be extended to other communities. Part of the reason for that is because in order to make this as cost efficient as possible, Lahaie says they would would want to buy a semi load of bins at a time. 

This automated compost pickup will mark the end of the community bin that is placed in Mitchell each Thursday. For years residents have been provided the opportunity to drop off their compostable material in a large bin at the arena.

"We're hoping that there will be as much interest as the interest that we received from the ratepayers for the central compost dropoff at the trailer," adds Lahaie. "That will be eliminated in Mitchell."

Lahaie is now inviting all Mitchell residents who were actively sending compostable material to the trailer, to call the RM office and request a compost bin.

Requesting a bin comes at no additional cost to Mitchell residents. Lahaie says the cost is part of the waste and recycling fee being paid through property taxes.