There are alternatives to Carp Road landfill

Article 27 Apr 2010 Ottawa Citizen

Re: We need ideas, not just landfill opposition, April 25. It is disappointing to read columnist Randall Denley’s endorsement of the proposed Carp Road landfill expansion by Waste Management.

I also find distasteful and unfair his mockery of Mayor Larry O’Brien and Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri that they are just posturing to please the residents who live in Stittsville and the area around the existing landfill site without offering alternatives. These two leaders know there are better alternatives available and they also have actively worked on them. Despite the claims that today’s landfills are clean and environmentally friendly because of the use of liners to prevent groundwater contamination and installation of gas collection facilities to prevent gases from the decomposition process of the garbage to escape into the air, these measures are neither perfect nor sustainable in the long term. The life of the liners are not guaranteed for decades to come after the landfill closes since decomposition continues. And not more than about 75 per cent of all gases can be captured.

There are many types of garbage incineration and gasification technologies which prevent land from being contaminated forever. Waste Management has used these methods in some places in the United States so why are they not proposing such a solution in Ottawa? While industrial, construction and institutional waste is the responsibility of the provincial government, clearly the municipality and its residents have the right to ask the government to prevent a retrograde solution such as the proposed landfill expansion of being implemented in the midst of a dense population area when better technologies are available.

 METIN AKGUN, Stittsville President, Stittsville Village Association