Enough with the Dumps!
March 30, 2017
Open Letter to Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Ottawa, Edwardsburgh, Winchester, Ingersoll, Russell, Stittsville… the list of communities grows longer every week. Shocked and frustrated citizens open their local newspapers and learn they are invited to an “Open House” consultation then read the fine print: a massive dump is proposed for the quarry near their town. Or the field beside that. Or the forest across the road.
Many of these communities already have a local waste facility. They may have 2 or 3 within a 30 minute drive. So concerned citizens write to the province of Ontario and explain that they have recycling and waste disposal. They note: no new dump is needed.
Then new Open House invitations appear about a document called the “Terms of Reference” for an Environmental Assessment process. The citizens realize the unnecessary, destructive dump project is moving forward. They write more letters. They do more research. They learn that in some parts of Ontario, TWICE as much dump capacity is already approved by Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), compared to how much waste is generated there, every year. Where is all the garbage coming from?
Although waste project proposals state local “preferred service areas”, the area supplying waste can be greatly enlarged after a dump is approved. Ontario dump managers are now so hungry for new trash business, they are asking for garbage from neighbours like Quebec, regardless of the increased trucking emissions. And the MOECC is approving those changes, letting more trucks roll in from outside Ontario.
Taggart & Miller
The 450 acre landfill and recycling site proposed in Ottawa by Taggart Construction and Miller Waste (the CRRRC) is currently seeking Ontario’s approval, while another mega-dump (Carp Road) was approved in Ottawa last year. Ottawa has 4 large landfills operating within city limits already, plus several others in the region. The CRRRC proposal would add waste disposal capacity, but the approval of Carp Road’s request to import waste from Quebec shows this region already has a surplus of approved landfill capacity. The CRRRC representatives belittle concerns about importing garbage with their oft-quoted “preferred service area” diagram. But just like the burgeoning Carp Road dump, they can ask to expand the service area if it suits their business.
Ontario’s obvious priority should be reducing waste going to landfill so LESS disposal space needs to be approved, but projects like the CRRRC are long on talk and short on commitment. The majority of the CRRRC project site is designed to be a landfill. The recycling components are experimental in scale and may never be ramped up. The plan to destroy hundreds of acres of forest is anything but “green” and undermines Ontario’s climate change objectives. The MOECC should see past the green tinted Assessment Report and reject the CRRRC project. Instead, they have been thinking it over for almost a year, while approving Ottawa’s other dumps to take trash from out of province. If the Ontario government is serious about zero waste and its new waste-free strategy and legislation, both of which commit to “zero waste, it should NOT be approving new or expanded mega-dumps which would only undermine that initiative.
Back the Truck Up
Ontario must not be “the solution” to the garbage problem next door! MOECC must protect our Environment from excess dump development. Ontario communities are waking up to the stink of the waste industry dumping on them with a nod from your administration! If Ontario’s “waste facility approval department” is so confused they can’t refuse dumps where too many already exist, then FREEZE all approvals until the rules are corrected. 882 operating landfills are enough!
32 Large landfills: https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/map-large-landfill-sites
Capital Region Citizens Coalition for the Protection of the Environment
Sue Langlois, President 613-797-8475
Lucie Régimbald, Vice-President 613-821-3431