Moving Organics Collection Forward – The Molok® Biosystem™
Molok North America continues to support advancing strategies and infrastructure that increase waste diversion levels across the country. Since 1991, Molok has promoted waste diversion by developing recycling and organics containers. Some of the primary reasons people choose not to use organics containers are the smell, the “ick” factor and the inconvenience of storing or transporting the waste. Molok’s attractive, efficient, sanitary containers aim to reduce the barriers that influence participation in composting programs. The semi-underground structure allows for a higher capacity and ongoing compaction, reducing collection frequency and cost. By storing the organic materials semi-underground where the temperature is cooler, the odour emitting from the bins is reduced. When collected, the internal lifting container is lifted and emptied from the bottom, meaning that none of the residues from the organic material contaminate the lid or area that the user interacts with. This adds to the attractive and sanitary nature of the Molok® containers. The crane-lifted design means that bins can be located in centralized areas that make dropping off waste simple and convenient. All of these factors contribute to the promotion of diverting organics from landfill and the success of Molok® containers.
Economically this creates real efficiencies. Consider a 45-unit residential complex that is using 3-120 litre (32 gallon) carts for organic collection. Serviced once per week at $15 per cart the cost for organics collection is $4.33 per residential unit per month or $52 per unit annually. Using a single 800-litre (211 gallon) Molok® Biosystem™ container, service would be required bi-weekly at a cost per service of $60.00 per lift. This results in a monthly per-unit cost of $2.88 or an annual per unit cost of $34.67 when using the Biosystem™. The capital expenditure of the Biosystem™ is $5,400 while the capital expenditure for the carts is approximately $1,800, both over a 15-year period.
The benefits of using the Molok® system go beyond this theoretical framework and can be observed at a 20-unit, multi-family building in Toronto. Before being introduced to Molok they separated waste into either garbage or recycling only, with no organics separation. However, in 2002, they transitioned from a front-end garbage bin and multiple recycling carts to 3 Molok® containers used to separate garbage, recycling and organics. After their installation they were monitored to determine collection frequency and contamination rates. Collection was reduced from twice weekly garbage and once weekly recycling to once monthly garbage, bi-weekly recycling and once monthly organics. The building had a pre-pilot diversion rate of 21%, increasing to 60% diversion after implementing the Molok® containers. These containers are still in use today, 17-years later. This is a testament to the successes that can be achieved through the use of organics collection when using a the Molok® system.
What if we carry our thoughts forward beyond operating efficiencies and increased diversion rates? What are the greenhouse gas benefits of reduced truck traffic for collecting the same volume? What are the safety benefits for pedestrians? What are the long-term impacts on municipal capital budgets with reduced collection truck needs? If we follow the above examples beyond the 45 and 20-unit locations listed, and look at the broader impact when scaled to include all multi-residential units in a town or city, the overall operational and environmental benefits become staggering. This is the stuff of real and meaningful change.
There is a growing need for increased diversion of organic material from landfills. Composting is an essential element in creating a better waste management system, and the Molok® system brings real advantages in the collection of commercial and residential organics all day, every day, year round.
We hope that this has been an educational International Composting Awareness Week, and encourage everyone to follow our LinkedIn page for more waste diversion information and updates. https://www.linkedin.com/company/molok-north-america-ltd-/