Waste plan delay OK: critic

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Environment

One of Eastern Waste Management's loudest critics is OK with the committee delaying its plan and considering another route for the region's garbage.

In the past, the mayor of Conception Bay South, Woodrow French, has railed against numerous aspects of Eastern Waste Management, including its very existence.

One of Eastern Waste Management's loudest critics is OK with the committee delaying its plan and considering another route for the region's garbage.

In the past, the mayor of Conception Bay South, Woodrow French, has railed against numerous aspects of Eastern Waste Management, including its very existence.

But when asked about the decision to delay the solid waste plan for Clarenville and east, Woodrow French didn't seem to have an issue.

"It proves what I've been saying, and what some of the other mayors have been saying, which proves they have to look at other options," French said Monday.

"They just can't come out with a 'one size fits all' ... The realization has sunk in that there has to be a better way to do this, and hopefully in their wisdom, they'll figure out what it is."

In The Weekend Telegram Saturday, Eastern Waste Management said it no longer intended to submit its final strategy to government by March's end, a timeline the committee set for itself.

Chairman Ken Kelly explained the group wasn't satisfied with the model it had been focusing on, so it wanted to look into another option.

The organization had been working on a system where communities 100 kilometres outside of St. John's would truck waste to a transfer station and it would then be moved on to Robin Hood Bay.

Kelly said they are now looking at a direct-haul setup, where all solid waste would be trucked directly to the St. John's dump.

He had no idea how long the extra analysis would take.

Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms - whose council has also been critical of the committee - isn't surprised by the delay.

But he is surprised by the possibility of not having transfer stations, saying such sites would limit transportation costs as waste could be hauled from some rural areas less frequently because the populations aren't large.

"If you're not going to do that, you've got to move garbage every day," Simms said. "And that's got to drive costs up for municipalities and costs up for the region (as the cost will be shared). But nobody, to my knowledge, has crunched any numbers to know that. We don't know that."

Simms added there is some confusion amongst municipalities, particularly outside the metro region, about where waste will be separated and where it will be transported.

"It's all of those little towns that are all a part of this. What happens to them? They've got to bring their garbage where? Are you saying folks out in Sunnyside got to bring their garbage to Robin Hood Bay? Oh, come on."

The committee was appointed in 2008 by Dave Denine, then minister of municipal affairs, to modernize solid waste management from Clarenville east.

At the time, it was estimated $2 million would cover the committee expenditures and consultants' fees necessary to devise a system.

Even though the committee's final plan won't be finished this month, current Municipal Affairs Minister Dianne Whalen is confident it will be brought forward this year.

The additional time and analysis, the minister added, is necessary to weigh the options and cost implications, and ensure the solutions are sustainable for everyone.

"While we want to see this completed as quickly as possible, we are more concerned that it is the right plan, and in the best interests of the region," Whalen said in an e-mail.

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Clarenville, Conception Bay South, St. John's Robin Hood Bay Mount Pearl Sunnyside

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Recent comments

  • William
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    It has taken us 50 years to stop treating our resources like garbage. Will it take us another fifty to stop treating our garbage like waste?

  • William
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    It has taken us 50 years to stop treating our resources like garbage. Will it take us another fifty to stop treating our garbage like waste?