Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Composting makes Siloam a greener enterprise

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It will be easier for Siloam Mission to be green now it has five new composting bins for kitchen and meal waste.

The bins -- black versions of the wheeled grey or blue garbage and recycling bins found outside Winnipeg residences -- are now filled daily with several kilograms of potato and carrot peels, eggshells and other kitchen scraps.

Spokespeople for both Siloam and Samborski Environmental, the company that will empty the bins, estimate upwards of 50 per cent of what the humanitarian organization has been throwing in the garbage will now become compost for gardens throughout the city.

And Marilou Castro, Siloam's assistant food-services manager, said that will save her agency money.

'All of our volunteers are so happy. They say it is about time'

-- Siloam's Marilou Castro

"We pay the city for garbage disposal," Castro said.

"Now half of it will be taken by Samborski, which is donating its services. That means we could save up to half the costs of garbage disposal."

Donna-Lynn Baskin, a Siloam spokeswoman, said it also means another benefit.

"The money saved will go back into our other services," Baskin said.

Lenn Samborski, one of the owners of the namesake company that does organic-waste collection for both commercial and residential use, said he's glad they can help Siloam.

"They generate a lot of consumer waste," Samborski said.

"I went through their kitchen and warehouse downstairs. It is impressive how much food they use. This will be revenue-neutral for us in the end."

Samborski said if they were to pick up a bin this week, it would likely take until fall at the earliest to become compost, but more likely a few months later.

"It will definitely be ready for next spring, and that's when it will be in somebody's garden," he said.

Castro said she came up with the idea during the last two years of watching how much organic waste was being thrown out.

"We make three meals seven times a week every day of the year," she said, noting they prepare at least 1,200 meals per day.

"We peel 100 pounds of potatoes for meals three or four times a week. And we use at least 200 eggs each day for scrambled eggs or French toast. There are coffee grounds, too.

"All of our volunteers are so happy. They say it is about time."

Siloam served 420,730 meals last year at its 300 Princess St., facility.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2014 B2

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