The Dump This Dump 2 group held their first public meeting in Vars on Sept. 4 to oppose the proposal for Taggart Miller’s Capital Region Resources Recovery Centre.
“We want to do everything in our power to stop this project,” said Sue Langlois, one of the founding members of the group.
Taggart Miller has proposed building a landfill and recycling facility that would bring in industrial and commercial waste in a Russell site. In the spring, they added a second site near Carlsbad Springs for consideration.
Dump This Dump 2 has received help from Russell group Dump the Dump Nowwhich has been working against the Russell CRRRC location since before the second site was announced.
Former Russell Township reeve Roger Pharand spoke at the Vars meeting, saying that the first public meeting in Russell in November was a full house, with a lot of angry people.
He said that it’s inappropriate for Taggart Miller to call the facility a recycling site because the provincial average for similar facilities is a 12 per cent recycle rate.
In June, Nigel Guilford, general manager at Miller Waste Systems, told the EMC that they expect to recycle 30 to 40 per cent of the waste the centre accepts, with the remaining put in a landfill on site.
The second site being considered is near Carlsbad Springs, at Boundary and Devine Roads. The Russell site falls outside of the city limits, but the second site is within Cumberland ward.
A similar waste site was proposed at the same location in the 1980s, but the application failed due to concerns that the ground was too unstable and could leach waste. A later 1990s application failed due to community backlash.
Dump This Dump 2 is hoping to have a strong enough community resistance to the project that it doesn’t get approved.
Members are starting by making lawn signs available at René’s Corner in Carlsbad Springs, and Milan Pizza in Vars, and encouraging residents to display them.
Ivan Tanner, another group member, said he’s skeptical about the things Taggart Miller has told him in meetings.
Taggart Miller was not present at the Sept. 4 meeting, but met with several Dump This Dump 2 group members in July.
“I’ve got to tell you, these people are smart, they had so many good answers. The tax dollars, the jobs, money for the community associations,” he said. “But you get old and you get a bit cynical that people aren’t fully forthright with you.”
Tanner said that he isn’t convinced that groundwater won’t get contaminated in future years.
In terms of groundwater contamination, Guildford said in June that done properly, there wouldn’t be a risk.
“As long as they are properly designed and properly operated, there is no risk (of groundwater contamination),” Guilford said.
“It would be great if we could believe them, and they seem sincere,” Tanner said. “But 40 years down the road, once you’ve got poison in the water, you can’t get it out.”
Currently, Taggart Miller is completing a terms of reference for submission to the provincial Ministry of the Environment for the environmental assessment. If the terms are rejected, the company is able to go back and revise the terms.
These terms outline what studies will need to be done on the sites before approval can go forward.
The Dump This Dump 2 group is encouraging residents to send letters to politicians and the Ministry of the Environment. They are working on a form letter to post on their website that community members can send in.
“We as a team are trying to show there’s no need for that. We’ve got to rally the troops,” Tanner said. “It is critical that we try to stop this at the onset.”
There will be a second meeting held for the Dump This Dump 2 group on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Carlsbad Springs Community Centre at 6020 Eighth Line Road.
They can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.dumpthisdump2.ca.