Ways to deal with waste

HALDIMAND PONDERS OPTIONS

by Bill Jackson - The Regional

October 28, 2009

Haldimand Council is considering two-stream recycling collection and outsourcing options to deal with the county's waste.

A Public Works report to council in committee this week recommends that a transfer station be constructed at Canborough to deliver recyclable materials to a third party processor.

The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) located in Simcoe will require heavy capital investment over the next few years by both Haldimand and Norfolk counties, the report says. In order to take advantage of economies of scale, transferring materials to larger facilities in other municipalities is a more viable cost alternative.

Both Haldimand and Norfolk councils hired a consultant that considered the divestiture of the jointly owned MRF to seek processing capacity from third party processors, located outside municipal boundaries.

Possible long-term options could include facilities in Hamilton, Niagara, or London, according to Paul Mungar, the county's manager of environmental services.

"This sounds like a great way to go," said Coun, Tony Dalimonte.

Haldimand's new transfer station, which is expected to cost more than $1.3 million, would go into operation next October, if approved by council during 2010 budget deliberations.

Currently there are insufficient reserve funds to accommodate the project, so financing options will be presented for council's consideration.

The county's curbside recycling program is currently sorted using a six-stream process. Items collected include newspaper, magazines, glossy paper, telephone books, fine paper, clear and coloured glass bottles and jars, food and beverage containers, aluminum and steel cans, plastics, corrugated cardboard and boxboard. A two-stream process would reduce sorting to fibres and containers, resulting in cost reductions.

Other options in the consultant's study considered the continued operation of the current MRF and the development of a transfer station in Simcoe, but it didn't consider curbside collection savings if a transfer station was constructed in Canborough. Haldimand councillors requested a cost breakdown of each option.

An agreement with Norfolk would be required to allow Haldimand exclusive use of a portion of the Canborough waste management facility that is slated to become the landfill of the future for both counties beginning in 2012, when the Tom Howe Landfill on New Credit is closed.

However, Haldimand Council has requested that staff investigate long-term disposal options, which could also include outsourcing waste to larger municipalities due to the high cost of maintaining landfill sites for counties the size of Haldimand and Norfolk.

Haldimand's GM of Public Works, Geoff Rae, said that he expects to address that matter in a report, early next year.

Landfill a concern, not land claim

Haldimand councillors and staff members still have concerns surrounding leachate management and road infrastructure at the Edwards Landfill near Cayuga, but they didn't buy into a request from Six Nations Band Council to join in opposition.

 A letter included in this week's council in committee agenda that was sent to the landfill's court appointed receiver from Six Nations Elected Chief, Bill Montour, cites native treaty rights.

"The lands proposed to be developed are on lands Six Nations has never been paid for or the terms and conditions required to make a surrender valid were not adhered to or honoured," the letter says.

In another letter addressed to Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer, Montour stated that it was crucial that both councils come together to discuss common concerns.

"Therefore what we have in common right now is a need to oppose reactivation of the Edwards Landfill due to environmental and health concerns," Montour stated.

Councillor Craig Grice feared that supporting Six Nations on one front could be considered as supporting its land claim on another.

Coun. Buck Sloat still wants council to reiterate its opposition to the landfill, however Coun. Don Ricker felt that council could be interfering with a legal business and would be outstepping its mandate.

""(The landfill operators) have been approved with a certificate of approval (to operate)," he said. "We need to ensure they follow the rules... but to say as a business they shouldn't be in Haldimand County, I'm not sure we have that right."

Haldimand's previous council gave $40,000 to a community group to fight the dump, but this council hasn't, Ricker stated.

The community group Haldimand Against Landfill Transfers joined forces with Six Nations protesters to stop trucks from entering the Edwards site with commercial, industrial and institutional waste from various sources across Ontario. A court injunction granted to the landfill's court appointed receiver in 2007 now prevents protesters from stopping waste entering the landfill.

Coun. Lorne Boyko doesn't want to tie Haldimand's actions to Six Nations. He pointed out that Six Nations did not support Haldimand when it requested a full environmental assessment of the landfill when it was reactivated more than five years ago.

"All of a sudden this is a terrible thing," he said. "Why is this a terrible thing? Look at (the land claim)."