Mandatory composting of horse manure at barns within city limits
As a U. of Guelph Equine Sciences student last fall, I used Stanley Park as a research area and was surprised to learn the manure at the police barns was not composted on site and used for the city's gardens. It's trucked away and nobody seemed to know where to. Then I recently learned that Southlands Heritage Farm has a proposal for a biodigester on their property, but the city will not approve it due to a "lack of understanding of the unit". I don't believe Hastings Park has a composter either. Raw horse manure is toxic to the environment and one horse alone produces about 9 tons per year. This is a serious environmental issue and waste of a product considered "black gold" when properly composted. It would be of extreme value to the city's community gardens and local growers. Southlands Heritage Farm has developed an equine-based CSA that should be used as a repeatable model for barns within the city and all of the GVRD.
Janine Brossard commented
Sometimes it's very smelly sitting in a park when a garbage bin full of pet poo is opened.
I wholeheartedly agree. We are in denial about the impact of pet waste. I would like to see the City set up a Working Group to look into this, bringing all the "stake holders" together: pet supply shops, veterinarians, and interested pet / horse owners, etc. We need numbers: how many pets/horses are there in the city? What are the options for dealing with different kinds of pet waste? What do other cities do (someone commented on a Massachusetts system but the weblink was broken). Let's get busy on this!