You win some, you loose some. Not everything you do to “collect” data has equal value. Because I want to quantify P in solid waste and know where that P goes (recycled, exported, landfilled) I called to schedule both a meeting with someone responsible for composting and organic waste at the city, as well as a visit of the complex that takes care of the largest volume of compost in the city. I scheduled the tour because the city representative I communicated with suggested it. Although the tour was a well organized and pleasant, we never visited the compost facility and I didn’t get anything out of the visit for my data collection.
Still, the complexe environemental Saint-Michel has a very interesting history. It was a limestone mine and cement factory right in the middle of the city, then it was a landfill (because there was a big whole to fill!). Now it treats compost and sorts recyclable materials and the larger part of the site is being converted into a public park set to open in 2020. The development of the site as a park is in many ways trying to make up for the pollution (in many forms) the neighborhood surrounding the site has had to endure over the past 60 or so years. The park will become one of the biggest in the city. The recycling center is supposed to stay, and a new compost facility has been planned for 2015 (to help Montreal meet the Quebec Government requirement for 80% of organic waste diversion away from landfills). Unfortunately (from my P perspective) plans for the compost facility have been received with a lot of resistance from surrounding residents (but somewhat understandable considering the history of the area).