Neville says major problems at Scotch Line landfill
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | March 16, 2017|
Minden Hills councillor Jean Neville thinks too many recyclables are being dumped into the Scotch Line landfill.
But Ivan Ingram, environmental and property operations manager, insists the township is compliant with Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECCC) standards. And, CAO/treasurer Lorrie Blanchard said the municipality isn’t subsidizing compaction trucks and bins.
A proposed change in the tipping fees for compaction trucks and bins came to council March 9 but with councillors Jeanne Anthon and Lisa Schell absent, the issue will return to the March 23 meeting.
Ingram said the proposed change came about because of disagreements between landfill attendants and the compaction truck and bin drivers over whether a load had six per cent or more of recyclable material. Loads of six per cent or more are charged more per cubic yard in tipping fees. However, Ingram said it isn’t easy to determine.
“Staff assessed various pictures of compacted loads received from the current landfill attendant company … given the amount of compaction, size of the load, condition of material, colour of bags, etc. it was difficult to provide an accurate assessment.”
He said that is why staff suggested a flat rate of $35 per cubic yard. Blanchard added in a written report, “It would still be at the discretion of the township to charge the unsorted rate of $50 per cu. yard for seriously ‘dirty’ loads, as determined by staff.”
Ingram said, “Staff has been contacted several times by the MOECC regarding our dumping and recycling practices, and in each case the township was found to be compliant with MOECC standards.”
Blanchard responded to criticism that the sector is being subsidized, reporting that, “It costs the township approximately $100.03 to address 10 cu. yards of compacted material, and $613.28 for the same amount of construction waste.” She said that if anything, the township is subsidizing the construction sector.
Ingram said they could always do better but the life of Scotch Line landfill was recently extended to 33 years, from 31, “So are we going the right way? I think we are. It’s really a determination of what’s contaminated.”
However, Ward 3’s Neville disagreed.
“I think there’s a major problem at Scotch Line – maybe the MOECC don’t want to look that deeply,” she said.
“We have to do some major education of businesses that aren’t sorting because they should be sorting. We can’t continue to ignore our environmental responsibility,” Neville said.
She added the township should be giving a financial break to people who are dumping sorted waste. She said she agreed with ratepayer Jim Davis who wrote that the township should be charging people more to force them to sort recycling.
“There is nowhere to put this. We should be looking at much less plastic waste for sure. We should ban water bottles,” Neville said.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.