An information period that raises questions
The presentation The citizens raise questions
The population of Saint-Laurent had a gathering on October 9 at the centre des loisirs to attend the public consultation on the treatment center of organic matter of the West center.
After unveiling new information on the composting center that could be built in SaintLaurent on Henri-Bourassa Boulevard near Highway 13, the City of Montreal representatives answered the questions of the public.
The session began with a presentation of the situation. The average Montrealer produces about 514 kg of household waste each year. 300kg of this is garbage and 21kg are organic substances that are retrieved. The city wishes to recycle 60% of compostable material. This would prepare the City for the ban of the landfill of organic matter by 2020.
In this context, the City of Montreal, with other cities in the metropolitan area, is planning the construction of four treatment centers for organic matter on the island of Montreal. This would have the benefit of reducing the millage of compostable matters.
The Saint-Laurent’s center could handle up to 50,000 tons of organic waste per year. This site was chosen because it is at least 500 meters away from residential, commercial and public places, at least 60 meters away from any river and 300 meters away from a lake. These distances are measured from the center air shaft. The site is also near major arteries, to reduce truck traffic in the neighborhood.
The composting would be done in a closed building under negative air pressure, meaning that trucks would enter through a double door airlock and air would be suck out of the building.
The center would produce less than five odor units, 99, 96% of the time. The odor units are a measurement for the strength of a scent, pleasant or not. For example, a person wearing perfume will produce from 20 to 50 units while a freshly cut grass makes 250 units. On average; the center would get 35 trucks per day. The busiest time of the year would be the months of October and November with 70 trucks per day.
Composting would be done in tunnels inside the center. Outside, the building would have a green roof and a greenhouse, in addition to landscaping.
At the microphone, citizens shared their concerns. The question period was attended by about 80 people and was done in a peaceful and respectful ambience.
Sylvain Ouellette, political staffer at Vision Montreal, asked if Aéroports de Montreal (ADM) would still be able to use the law to block the project since the building would be at the limit of the bird hazard zone. "It’s still the same sword of Damocles," he thinks.
Roger Lachance, from the City of Montreal, then said that ADM are not planning to oppose to the location of this site. Nicole Brodeur, commissioner for the Office de consultation publique de Montreal (OCPM) asked them if they were able to produce a written document from ADM. Mr. Lachance responded that "it’s coming."
A citizen worried about the willingness to engage citizens in the process, put the emphasis on the fact that they received the flyer announcing the public consultation "just four days ago. I hope you will be more diligent in the future." This concern was shared by several speakers.
A citizen inquired about the type of governance that would mange the center, more specifically if it would be a public-private partnership. Mr. Lachance answered that "all type of management methods are on the table."
But what about the necessary expansions due to the population increase?
Two citizens shared their concerns about the inevitable rise in demand following the increase in Montreal real estate development. M. Lachance responded that their center was designed for projections over 10 years, but it would take some time before a change in people’s habits, which lead them to believe that the center will be fit for the demand for several years.
Finally, Sylvain Ouellette returned to the microphone to ask if it was true that to be eligible for federal grants, the project had to be completed in 2014, which would be impossible, according to him. The City of Montreal representative responded that there is some flexibility for grants at the provincial level and that negotiations were underway with Ottawa to push the date further.
To be ready for any eventuality, the City will present two business plans, one with and one without federal subsidy.The President of the consultation, Joshua Wolfe, translated the answers to the unilingual anglophones in the room.
There will be a second public consultation on October 30 that 7 pm at the centre des loisirs, located at 1375 Grenet Street. During that second consultation, citizens will be able to make recommendations and express their views in an oral presentation or a written memoire. To make a presentation, citizens must register by October 25th at the following site. ocpm.qc.ca / Join.