• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Choosing the best site

In Agriculture
Mar 14th, 2016

Locating the Organics Processing and Materials Management Facilities

 I view these new facilities as an opportunity to showcase how the County is progressing toward a zero waste municipality.

I agree with Warden Gerry Marshall when he says there will be no odour problems. Other compost facilities operate without odour issues. A process that’s completely enclosed in a negative pressure building should never have an odour problem so this negates the need for large buffers. So why is it so important to maintain the large buffer from any surrounding odour receptors?

Truck traffic is certainly an issue. 210 trucks coming into any site at the end of the day is a concern. Most of the growth scheduled for Simcoe County is in the south end which means more trucks would be coming from the south. Compared to the P083/P083 site the C136 site requires an additional 30km travel distance if coming from the south. It would seem prudent to examine locating a transfer station somewhere in the south end to eliminate most of the trucks coming from there, regardless of the site chosen.

The province has recently introduced the Waste-Free Ontario Act with two goals. 1. Zero waste in the province and 2. Zero greenhouse gases emissions from the waste sector. Reducing the distance travelled for trucks would contribute significantly to the second goal.

It seems a virtual certainty to me that the composting and materials handling systems of the Cities of Barrie and Orillia will someday be integrated with the County. There seems to be no discussion of this in the selection process. Why is that?

The cost to buy the P083/P084 site is a valid point. However we haven’t seen the full cost comparison done for any of the sites, including the required road improvements.

There will be no disposal of any material on the site. So the fully enclosed operation means there will be no leachate or contaminated runoff entering the groundwater. There will however, be significant amounts of stormwater runoff generated. This provides an opportunity to demonstrate relatively new Low Impact Development techniques which would infiltrate the rain water and virtually eliminate runoff into the creek. At the same time the unevaluated wetland on the lower end of the property could be enhanced to provide additional improved wildlife habitat.

The P083/P084 site has not been farmed for some time. The topsoil removed to build the facilities could be utilized in the remaining area on site to create demonstration farm/garden plots or used in urban areas for that purpose. It need not be lost.

I feel the new facilities should be a showcase for the advance toward a waste-free Ontario, not hidden back in the bush. Having said that, if the OPF and MMF are built on the preferred site it can still be used as a showcase, not only for composting and material handling but also to demonstrate best forestry management practices, best stormwater management practices and modern food production practices.

And let’s stop using the term “waste” and start referring to everything we now dispose of and squander as RESOURCES that need to be recovered and reused over and over again.

Background material

Simcoe County’s final siting report (in agenda for March 8 2016, scroll down to item 22)

AWARE Simcoe’s recommendation of the Highway 11 / Penetanguishene Rd. site

About "" Has 18 Posts

Sandy Agnew - Oro-Medonte

2 Responses to “Choosing the best site”

  1. Don Molloy says:

    Sandy makes sense. Does the County make sense? Why are Barrie and Orillia not part of the solution?

  2. Ann says:

    Great write-up Sandy!
    I completely agree with your comments.

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