Residents dump on landfill
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Jun 09, 2010  |  Vote 0    0

Residents dump on landfill

Ottawa East News

Tempers came to a boiling point during a Waste Management question and answer session at Sacred Heart High School on Tuesday, June 8.

Don Wright, vice president and general counsel at Waste Management replied “I honestly don’t know,” when asked by a resident if he would want to live and raise a family beside the new landfill.

This brought cries of outrage from those in the community who would be living in close proximity to the proposed West Carleton Environmental Centre.

“How can you say, ‘I don’t know?’” yelled Marlene Labelle, Stittsville’s representative on the Waste Management project advisory committee.

“I'm just very frustrated with their attitude,” she said after the session. “They want community input but they're just not listening. I’ve submitted three reports to them and I'm working on my fourth one and they're still running ahead with the terms of reference.”

The terms of reference will be submitted sometime in the next few weeks.

“It’s very frustrating to watch this,” said Labelle. “They're pulling the wool over peoples’ eyes.”

Skirting the issue

“This community has done its share, accepting garbage for a wide range of people across the province,” said Norm Sterling, MPP for Carleton-Mississippi Mills.

“You are misleading the people right now,” he yelled when a Waste Management spokesperson said the new site wouldn’t be taking in garbage from outside eastern Ontario.

“It’s time for someone else to take this on,” said Sterling to audience applause.

Leigh-Ann Weynerowski, who lives between Stittsville and Carleton Place, said she felt Waste Management skirted the main issue – residents don't want to see a new landfill in their backyards.

“The people are never going to be happy as long as the dump is there,” she said.

Health concerns

Christine Armstrong, a resident of Stittsville, said she has developed fibromyalgia. She said she has health concerns regarding the proximity of the new dump to the community.

Armstrong asked Waste Management if it was willing to commit to compensate health and medical issues that might arise from living near the landfill.

“At Waste Management we’re prepared to make a commitment,” said Wright, adding the company would be, “completely and categorically responsible.”

Tim Murphy, the project manager at Waste Management said the new dump would have odour enforcement mechanisms that would capture gases more effectively and keep them out of the air.

“We’re not going to cause the odour problem,” said Murphy.

Residents said they were worried about ground water contamination, since many of them are on the well system.

“It’s still garbage, still leaching into our ground water,” said Stittsville resident N. Nash.

“The water is tested on a weekly basis,” said Remi Godin, gas operations manager at Waste Management.

One Waste Management official said there are areas known to the company where ground water contamination has occurred but it’s “being monitored.”

Pilot projects

Residents wanted to know why new technologies weren’t being tested for use, such as the incineration system used in Sweden, where energy is harnessed through waste combustion.

“We should be going in that direction,” said Stittsville resident Harry Kowalik. “These people can’t come up with anything better than hauling garbage into a residential area.”

Stittsville Coun. Shad Qadri said he is opposed to handling garbage in an antiquated way and wants to see the 60 per cent diversion reached first before creating a new landfill.

“Give me 60 per cent diversion then we’ll look at other options,” said Qadri. “The biggest component of an environmental centre should be diversion. They’re saying maybe in 10 to 20 years…why not start now?”

Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson said she is concerned about the amount of waste the new landfill will bring in; about 400,000 tonnes of garbage a year, according to Waste Management.

The current dump only takes in about 30,000 tonnes per year.

“I just have a cynical view towards all this,” said Kowalik. “It’s an archaic system.”

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