Waste bids are piling up in Oro
By NATHAN TAYLOR Barrie Examiner October 25 2010
Oro-Medonte Township is in a prime location to be the collector of the county’s trash — recyclables, it seems, in particular.
The municipality has two active landfills and three possible recycling operations.
One recycling site is awaiting site-plan approval. Another one, London-based TRY Recycling, is conducting tests on a site. Now, Ontario Recycling is looking to set up a transfer/processing facility just off Small Crescent.
“Is Oro-Medonte becoming the waste disposal site of Simcoe County?” Gord Roehner wondered.
The Ward 4 council candidate got his hands on a letter being sent to nearby residents, informing them that Conestoga-Rovers and Associates is applying, on behalf of Ontario Recycling, for a certificate of approval from the Ministry of the Environment.
One of two 30-day public comment periods on the ministry’s environmental registry has closed.
The first, which closed Oct. 1, was regarding contaminants that would be released into the air as a result of the operation.
The second comment period is ongoing until Nov. 6. It relates to the company’s application for a certificate of approval for the waste disposal site. The certificate of approval would govern the operations.
Roehner claimed there has been a lack of transparency from the township.
“There is no transparency. Otherwise, we would’ve been informed,” he said.
Mayor Harry Hughes noted council hasn’t even been apprised of the details.
“I haven’t even looked at the application,” he said. “I don’t know what procedure Mr. Roehner is saying should’ve been done.”
While Ontario Recycling purchased the vacant property this year, it has not received site-plan approval, Hughes said. That plan would have to be approved by council.
Unlike the TRY Recycling proposal, Roehner is not opposed to the site of Ontario Recycling’s planned facility.
“I disagree with so much waste disposal coming into our community,” he said.
“Aren’t there other communities willing to take in disposal operations? How quickly are our landfill sites filling up?”
The landfill located just off Old Barrie Road, between the fifth and sixth lines, is estimated to reach capacity in seven years, Hughes said.
Also, the mayor added, if the recycling facilities operate as they’re supposed to, it won’t impact the landfill.
“The whole idea is to reduce what goes into the landfill sites, if they fulfil their purpose,” he said.
Due to its central location in the county, Hughes understood how the township could be viewed as a convenient place for these types of operations.
But is it good business? “It depends on how it’s operated,” Hughes said.
For example, there should be no “offsite environmental concerns,” he said.
The certificate of approval would allow for 500 tons of material to be received at the site each day. The company estimated there would be a maximum of 60 trucks per day (five or six per hour).
The waste-transfer facility would deal mainly with construction or demolition waste that is recyclable and non-hazardous, the letter states.