By Chad Ingram
The Township of Algonquin Highlands will host a lottery-style draw allowing residents to purchase Food Cyclers at a reduced rate as part of a waste diversion pilot project.
As previously reported in the Times, the Food Cycler is a countertop device about the size of a bread machine that speeds up the natural decomposition process, grinding and drying up food waste and turning it into a “dry, odourless nutrient-dense by-product that is significantly reduced in weight and volume from its unprocessed state,” according to a report from township environmental co-ordinator Melissa Murray. “The end product is free from bacteria, and weed seeds and food-borne pathogens.”
The Food Cycle Sciences Corporation, which manufactures the units, recently received $10,000 in federal funding through a waste reduction challenge, and will contribute that funding to reducing the purchase price of the devices. The township will contribute $2,000 to the project, bringing the subsidized price for residents down to $150 per unit, plus applicable taxes.
“We have a fairly short window to get these units and the program launched,” Murray told councillors during a June 17 online meeting.
Some residents have already expressed interest in purchasing Food Cyclers, and there was some conversation about what the fairest way to distribute the devices would be.
“I think for transparency purposes, 100 names out of a hat is the way to go,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt, adding that otherwise, it amounted to discretionary decision-making on the part of council. Other councillors ultimately agreed.
Moffatt also noted there would be a formal process, facilitated by Murray, through which to enter.
“Sending notes to staff or council does not get your name on the list,” she said.
There is a two-week window for entries. The lottery is for residents of Algonquin Highlands only. If fewer than 100 people are interested, the units will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, contact Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org