Landfill neighbours not impressed with expansion plans

Landfill neighbours not impressed with expansion plans

By AEDAN HELMER, OTTAWA SUN

Last Updated: April 13, 2010 7:25pm

Waste Management’s revamped Carp landfill plan is being met with skepticism from a community that was up in arms to block expansion attempts three years ago.

“The more things change, the more things stay the same,” said Olivia Nixon, a West Carleton resident who helped form a citizen’s coalition to fight the landfill’s expansion in 2007. Nixon said the community is still very much opposed to the landfill, which she called the “worst environmental option” available for handling waste.

Nixon said a large-capacity landfill provides no incentive to divert the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) waste currently handled by the facility. Nixon said while over 30% of household waste is diverted before it reaches landfill, the same is true of less than 10% of ICI waste.

“Before we look to add any more landfill, we should be looking at improving diversion for that sector,” Nixon said.

Stittsville resident and citizens’ coalition member Colin MacKenzie said the environmental impact of the proposed

expansion remains, and residents are still concerned about runoff, odour and the optics of having a large industrial dump in the middle of a residential area.

“All they can do is try to mitigate the impacts, not eliminate them,” MacKenzie said. “There are environmental impacts, it’s a fact, not an opinion. There are real impacts and real risks, and the community still has every reason to be concerned.”

John MacMillan, co-founder of Ottawa Landfill Watch, said with recent progress made in environmental alternatives, excess landfill sites simply aren’t needed.  MacMillan listed the $25-million Orgaworld organics processing plant and Plasco’s plasma gasification facilities as “low-risk, long-term sustainable diversion solutions,” and said other waste handlers have made “significant” strides toward diversion in the last three years.

“Just as Ottawa seems to be moving in the right direction, Waste Management comes along with this proposal in a location that is clearly unsuitable,” he said.

 

aedan.helmer@sunmedia.ca