Councillors Seek Financial Information on Proposed Composting Program

By Adam Swift

Several city councillors want some more information on a proposed composting pilot program in Revere before it is moved forward to a public hearing.

Councillors Juan Pablo Jaramillo and Angela Guarino-Sawaya introduced an ordinance requesting the establishment of the composting pilot program that was discussed at last week’s climate and sustainability subcommittee meeting.

Monday night, Jaramillo reported the ordinance out of subcommittee with the recommendation of it moving forward to a public hearing at a future council meeting.

However, Councillor-at-Large Michelle Kelley requested the proposed ordinance first go to the council’s ways and means subcommittee for a more in-depth discussion about the financial impact of the request.

“Composting has a great deal of benefits, in addition to the financial potential benefits it could provide the city and its waste disposal program,” said Jaramillo.

Composting helps take organic materials out of the waste stream, providing soil erosion, climate, and coastal resiliency benefits, Jaramillo said.

Composting can help divert up to 30 percent of the waste that currently ends up in the WinWaste facility in nearby Saugus, he added, reducing the amount of pollution in the city. Jaramillo added that the $25,000 annual mitigation payment to the city from WinWaste could help to fund the pilot program.

Guarino-Sawaya also spoke about the environmental benefits of composting, and said that long-term, taking a substantial amount of material out of the waste stream could save the city millions of dollars.

“I don’t have any problem with this going to a public hearing,” said Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto. “However, we are a long way from implementing something like this. I want to know what it is going to cost and I want to know how it is going to remove the waste from the stream.”

Zambuto said a composting program could cost the city a lot of money without saving it a lot down the road.

Kelley said she does think a composting program is a great idea, but requested that the motion go back to the ways and means subcommittee to further discuss some of the details.

“We can get a little bit better of a handle on what we would be looking at for costs and what we would be looking at for savings, and get that information a little more detailed,” said Kelley.

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