- Anne Finlay-Stewart and a rakish reader

“The good weather brings a lot of people to the compost site.” This was from an email late this afternoon from the City, asking the media to remind Owen Sound residents of the closure of the compost site from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.  It appears to be have been a huge understatement.

By 4:55 a reader reports there were well over 100 vehicles lining both sides of the avenue waiting to get in. In his line of about 30 vehicles, there were at least 10 others that pulled up and immediately turned around and left, or decided after waiting in line for a while to bail out and try another time.

There were about 30 bags of garden detritus piled at the gate where folks had dropped them off through the day, and the entrance was blocked by what appeared to be a City truck and one employee until they began to let people in about 5:20.

With a whole lot more vehicles coming all of the time; still the loader was moving piles of grind while folks challenged by the pitch dark, towing trailers,  were trying to back them up to the piles.  To keep his language polite, our reader described it as "more than a mile past a gong-show".

According to a story by Denis Langlois in the Sun Times, Director of Engineering and Public Works Dennis Kefalas said the grinding and clean-up on the site has not been done for “five or ten years”. No explanation was given for why this work is being done now, when the site appears to be at its busiest.

“Trying to cycle stuff this time of year is ridiculous.... kind of like stores closed at Christmas or churches closed at Easter,” said our reader, a very regular user of the compost site.

He has seen no staffed operation of the site this year save monitoring attendance when the pandemic related capacity limit was set.

“When you go in to the site there are two major piles that run to the west with piled detritus. In my estimation, less than 5% of the mass of those two lines had been processed today.” We agreed it might be interesting to see drone photography of the progress of grinding from day zero through subsequent days.

The City compost site will be closed weekdays from 7 a.m until 5 p.m. until November 20, and open regular hours this weekend.

photo from 2018