Questions over compost bins

Should the Town of Minto be competing with local retailers in the sale of compost bins?

The question came up at a recent council session following a suggestion by Mayor David Anderson about the availability of compost bins in general.

He had noted that in the past that cedar compost bins were sold by the town to the public.

About 20 years ago, a local lumber yard had constructed about 300 bins. Now there seems to be a big kick into composting again, Anderson said.

There have been a number of inquiries about why bins would be available at the landfill transfer stations, but not the municipal office.

He wondered if the town should pick up some from the lumber yard to offer for sale.

“Are we in the retail business?” asked councillor Rick Hembly. His concern is the town might be getting involved in the sale of items already sold by local businesses.

Anderson contended the compost bins would be sold on behalf of the town.

Clerk Barb Wilson said that councillors need to see the big picture. She said it is about offering a service to local residents.

“It is not a big money maker,” she said.

Hembly again said his only concern is that it does not take away from local businesses.

Anderson suggested the cedar bins might be considered more environmentally friendly since they are built of wood, however Hembly’s response was that most plastic bins are made from recycled materials.

“We are not trying to put local hardware stores out of business,” Anderson said. “We are responding to requests made to us.”

Councillor Barb Burrows suggested the sale of the bins would complement existing sales of rain barrels through the municipal office.