County’s waste strategy lacks sufficient public input, Leduc says
Map shows sites formerly under consideration for waste facility, including the selected C-136 site on Horseshoe Valley Road: there was no discussion of an update report.
But councillors vote 16-8 to proceed with consultant’s recommendations
By Kate Harries – AWARE News Network
An attempt by Bradford-West-Gwillimbury Deputy Mayor James Leduc to put the county’s waste strategy on hold and seek more public input failed at Tuesday’s meeting of Simcoe County Council.
“Our waste management is one of the most critical issues that residents will argue about,” said Leduc. Referring to a five-year update completed by the firm HDR Consulting, he said, “I don’t believe this strategy represents the needs of the county for the next five years.”
Leduc noted that only two public meetings were held, in Midhurst, and it wasn’t likely that residents from the south or the north of the county would attend.
“I think we need to be a little more out there with the public so they understand what we’re going to do,” he added, urging that the strategy be referred back to staff. “The fact of the matter is, we didn’t get enough public input into this strategy.”
Severn Deputy Mayor Judith Cox agreed, on the point that the public meetings in Midhurst were not sufficient. “I think it should have been spread around the county,” she said of the consultation exercise.
No other councillor spoke in favour of or against the strategy process, but they voted 16-8 (weighted vote 63-35) to approve the HDR Consulting recommendations.
HOW THEY VOTED
The recommendations include:
– Provision of a standard size garbage container
– Reducing the curbside garbage limit
– Reducing the double-up program for Victoria Day and Thanksgiving
– Implementing a mandatory diversion bylaw
– Accepting pet waste and diapers in green bin by 2021
As of 2015, the overall diversion rate for the county was 60 per cent.
Previously approved by council are plans to permanently close Site 9 – Medonte and Site 12 – Sunnidale. One year of emergency disposal capacity is to be preserved at Site 11 – Oro.
Meeting later the same morning in Committee of the Whole, county councillors voted to approve an update on Site C-136 on Horseshoe Valley Road.
About a dozen local residents who turned out to hear discussion of the report left disappointed, as there was none.
A new name has been coined to refer to this site in the Freele Tract of the county forest, which is to comprise an organics processing facility (OPF), a materials management facility (MMF), and truck servicing area.
It is to be called the Simcoe County Environmental Resource Centre.
Springwater CAO Robert Brindley has been added to the non-voting Community Engagement Committee that was set up in 2014.
The staff report lists a number of studies that have been undertaken, including an environmental impact study, a traffic impact study and a hydrogeological/geotechnical study.
The report states that further archeological work has been recommended following initial archeological assessments. ”This will not preclude development of the facility on the footprint but is anticipated to delay submission of the planning applications,” the report says.
Essa Mayor Terry Dowdall announced he will seek a second two-year term as deputy warden in December.