The City Hamilton, Ontario along with several contractors was recently charged under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act in connection with odour issues at its Central Composting Facility.  The specific charges are that the City, along with contractors for the composting facility, discharged or permitted the discharge of a contaminate (odour) contrary to the Environment Protection Act.

The charge relates to issues at the composting facility back in 2018.  At that time, there were numerous odour complaints from residents living near the facility.  The odour issues resulted in the facility be ordered to shut down at the time.

After modifications to better control odour issues, the facility reopened in 2019.  It ran a one-third capacity and only accepted grass and leaf & yard waste.  A third-party was also hired to patrol the area surrounding facility to monitor for air quality impacts, though that effort is now over.

The city-owned facility opened in 2006 and is operated by Aim Environmental Group. It initially handled compost generated by Hamilton, Halton and Simcoe County — the equivalent of 60,000 tonnes per year, from roughly 1,668,000 people.

The city says it received a summons from the Ministry of Environment on Nov. 25 and is required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on Feb. 3.  The Environment Ministry launched an investigation following complaints about the odour and the city says it has fully cooperated.