Practical climate solutions for Northern communities 

Thermophilic composters for managing organics 

Waste disposal in the North is expensive and environmentally disruptive. Enclosed thermophilic (“heat-loving”) composters could be a game-changer in helping divert organic matter from landfills and achieving northern communities’ waste diversion objectives — but to date have not been tested or used outside of agricultural settings or the mining sector. 

GMF is helping to change that with funding for a feasibility study of enclosed thermophilic composting in four municipalities in the Abitibi region of Québec: Landrienne Township, La Corne, Saint-Félix-de-Dalquier and Saint-Marc-de-Figuery, with a total combined population of 3,500 residents. 

The study will provide insight into the performance of a single composter especially during the Canadian winter, which is not typically assessed, and determine the number of composters needed to process organics at peak resident participation. These highly replicable and affordable composters could help Northern communities increase material recovery, reduce waste management fees and cut greenhouse gas emissions while creating new jobs and economic opportunities for residents. 

Anticipated results 

  • 45–62% increase in energy recovery from non-recyclable waste for the four municipalities 
  • Recovery of 300 tonnes of organics annually 
  • Redistribution of $14,000 in saved fees every year for the four municipalities