Currently, Gorilla promotes organic waste composting at both the institutional and individual levels. Gorilla purchased a Big Hanna T240 in-vessel composter, which was installed on May 29, 2010. It will process at least 60 tonnes of organic waste generated at cafeterias across McGill University every year. The project was spearheaded by former coordinator David Gray-Donald (B.A. & Sc. '10).
Gorilla operations are now divided between the composter, which processes organic waste from the cafeterias, and a worm swap, a resource which will provide the McGill community with the possibility of using worms for vermiculture at home. We feel that this is the ideal way to process organic waste with limited space and time. This means we need volunteers!
Gorilla operations have changed for the better.
In the past, Gorilla operated an organic waste drop-off at McGill University. It allowed students and staff who did not have the means to compost at home to do so. The organic waste was transported to a farm on Īle-Perrot.
This pilot project was meant to increase awareness of organic waste composting and to educate the public. After five years, Gorilla has decided to close the drop-off indefinitely. Here are a few good reasons:
Although a good method to educate the public, an organic waste drop-off wherein motorized transportation over long distances is necessary is not efficient.
As of August, 2010, more than 20 tonnes of organic waste has been diverted from landfill by Gorilla operations. According to the WaRM of the EPA, for every tonne diverted, 1.42 tonnes of CO2e are reduced. This, however, does not take transportation into account. Frequent trips to the farm (a 45-km route) substantially affected the emission reduction of Gorilla's operations in the past. The annual average of emissions reduction hovered around 0.4 tonnes CO2e.
An operation like Gorilla's required a significant time contribution from volunteers which it can no longer sustain. Due to time constraints, organic waste was stored in bins for up to two weeks (thankfully in a refrigerated area). At that point, the material could be pretty putrid! Also think about the methane produced during anaerobiosis and how that affects GHG emissions!
Although getting people in the habit of composting is great, Gorilla members weren't typically involved in the operations. With the in-vessel composter, more people can get involved in the process and learn about composting!