The Robin Hood Bay landfill. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
The future of eastern Newfoundland’s garbage is a little clearer.
A long-awaited plan mapping out waste management in the region has been finalized and is in the hands of the provincial government, Eastern Waste Management said Tuesday.
“What you’re seeing is a report that’s success modelled on what’s essentially happening on the ground now,” Ken Kelly, chief administrative officer, told The Telegram.
“The success is not in the plan. The success is in what’s actually happening.”
A regional waste plan has been in the works for years. After previous unsuccessful attempts, the province set up a committee in 2008 and it evolved into Eastern Waste Management.
There was hope the plan would be submitted to government in March 2010, but the committee opted to take more time.
As the scheme was completed, it continued getting more communities and sub-regional committees trucking waste to Robin Hood Bay, in St. John’s
Right now, approximately 124 communities — about 95 per cent of the region’s population — are doing so.
The new strategy incorporates what’s already happening, and outlines measures to get the remaining 39 communities on-stream and for additional waste-diversion services.
The plan will see the majority of Eastern Newfoundland’s communities trucking waste to Robin Hood Bay.
Those farther than 100 kilometres away — or the sub-regional committees providing the service to them — will be reimbursed 20 cents per tonne, per kilometre, beyond the first 100 kilometres.
The only communities not sending directly to St. John’s are in the Clarenville area. The plan will see a transfer station built there by 2013. Waste from the area will be trucked to the new facility before being sent to St. John’s.
As well, the 12 remaining community landfills in the region will close in 2012 and 2013. To date, 30 have been shuttered.
The blueprint will also see five more waste recovery facilities built around the region for bulk garbage disposal. There are already five such sites in place and no community is supposed to be 70 kilometres from one.
Kelly said how much the region’s residents will pay for waste disposal under the plan will vary from community to community.
He notes the greatest concern about cost was in places on the periphery and some consistency has been maintained.
“If you look at the cost in a community like Branch, it’s $180 per household. Trepassey, it’s $180 per household. Old Perlican, $180 per household.”
Urban municipalities will contribute to the plan through the tipping fee they currently pay at Robin Hood Bay.
Arnold’s Cove is one of the communities that isn’t yet sending waste to St. John’s.
Mayor Tom Osbourne said Tuesday evening he hadn’t seen the plan, but that he looked forward to going through it.
“We want to move forward,” he said.
A spokesman for Municipal Affairs, the provincial department overseeing waste management, said the department will review the plan and discuss it with Eastern Waste Management before proceeding to the budget process.