Con­cern and sup­port

Cen­tral New­found­land rep­re­sen­ta­tives talk about waste strat­egy study.

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front Page - BY CORY HUR­LEY cory.hur­ley@thenor­wester.ca

COR­NER BROOK, NL — Baie Verte Deputy Mayor Scott Furey is con­cerned that a study into New­found­land and Labrador’s waste man­age­ment strat­egy will add an­other de­lay to years of lit­tle ac­tion in his area.

Baie Verte con­tin­ues to wait on the pri­mary im­ple­men­ta­tion of this strat­egy, he said. The town con­tin­ues to use its land­fill, al­beit with a num­ber of im­ple­mented changes to prac­tices at the site and its pick-up pro­gram.

“For the places where this hasn’t hap­pened yet, it is kind of leav­ing us up in the air longer,” he said.

The town has been pre­par­ing for waste man­age­ment changes for years, in­clud­ing the even­tual truck­ing of waste to the cen­tral re­gional site in Nor­ris Arm, he said.

Furey agrees with the need to re­duce the num­ber of land­fills in cen­tral New­found­land, and that the strat­egy has en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits – so an overview of the strat­egy at this junc­ture could be pos­i­tive, he said.

With a re­gional com­mit­tee in place to over­see this de­vel­op­ment for years, the deputy mayor said it ap­pears the de­lay has been due to avail­abil­ity of fund­ing.

“They have been telling us this is what is hap­pen­ing and it is go­ing to hap­pen, but we don’t seem to have much choice,” he said. “It is more ‘wait and see’ from the gov­ern­ment, so it is frus­trat­ing when you just want to know one way or an­other.”

Cost to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and ul­ti­mately, area res­i­dents, re­mains the big­gest con­cern, ac­cord­ing to Furey. He said small towns and ag­ing pop­u­la­tions alike are an­tic­i­pat­ing dif­fi­culty pay­ing the ad­di­tional costs of waste man­age­ment in the fu­ture.

“It has to be done in an ef­fi­cient and cost-ef­fec­tive way,” he said.

Spring­dale

Spring­dale Mayor Dave Edi­son has sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments with re­spect to the time it’s tak­ing for the strat­egy to be im­ple­mented. His town still trucks its garbage to nearby South Brook, whereas it will even­tu­ally be trucked to the Barry Manuel, mayor of Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

Nor­ris Arm site.

“I am not sur­prised it is com­ing up again,” Edi­son said, with re­spect to the Nov. 1 an­nounce­ment the prov­ince will is­sue two re­quests for pro­pos­als for pro­fes­sional ser­vices to pro­vide an op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial analysis of waste man­age­ment sys­tems in the prov­ince. The pro­pos­als will also as­sess po­ten­tial sold waste man­age­ment tech­nolo­gies that will sup­port the strat­egy’s goals and ob­jec­tives.

He sup­ports the strat­egy re­view.

“There is a lot of money into this, and it is a big bud­get con­cern for all towns,” he said. “To know they are con­tin­u­ing to study and keep look­ing at

what’s best as a pos­i­tive sign.”

Edi­son said the cur­rent ser­vice is good for the town and its res­i­dents. While the cost is a big part of Spring­dale’s bud­get, he said it is a nec­es­sary ex­pense that’s man­age­able for the town.

“Dis­cus­sion is im­por­tant in any area, as far as I am con­cerned,” the mayor said. “Be­fore they make any fur­ther huge de­ci­sions, dis­cus­sion and hav­ing peo­ple in­volved and have their say could bring about bet­ter ideas of dif­fer­ent ways to tackle the is­sue.”

Grand Falls-Wind­sor

Mayor Barry Manuel of Grand Falls-Wind­sor said rep­re­sen­ta­tives of his town have been vo­cal for years on the is­sue of waste man­age­ment and its associated costs. He be­lieves the study is long over­due.

While most peo­ple are in­ter­ested in pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, ac­cord­ing to the mayor, he feels towns in cen­tral New­found­land have had to ab­sorb costs more than dou­ble those of other ar­eas of the prov­ince.

The strat­egy brought for­ward in 2002 was meant to be provincewide, but he says what has tran­spired since has not been pro­vin­cial in scope.

“We just want to be treated fairly,” he said. “If this study comes back and sug­gests what­ever, we hope it is go­ing to be ev­ery­body in the prov­ince sub­jected to the same set of rules. Right now, that is not the case.”

Manuel said re­cy­cling ini­tia­tives have been im­ple­mented in ar­eas of cen­tral New­found­land, in­clud­ing the nec­es­sary sep­a­ra­tion of waste in homes and at the Nor­ris Arm site. Grand Falls-Wind­sor has been truck­ing its waste to the re­gional fa­cil­ity for some time. The mayor said the fa­cil­ity is large enough to han­dle the en­tire prov­ince’s re­cy­cling re­quire­ments – some­thing he would like to see im­ple­mented in the strat­egy.

“You are see­ing a fa­cil­ity that has cost a huge amount of money that is op­er­at­ing at about a 25 per cent ca­pac­ity,” he said.

Gan­der

Gan­der Mayor Percy Far­well said it’s a good idea to re­view the pro­vin­cial strat­egy at this point in its im­ple­men­ta­tion. He said the strat­egy has been rolled out in vary­ing stages across the prov­ince. In cen­tral New­found­land, where it has ad­vanced fur­ther than most ar­eas, he said they have ex­pe­ri­enced some of the bugs associated with it.

The mayor said al­low­ing some com­mu­ni­ties to opt in or out of cer­tain as­pects of the pro­gram is an is­sue, which he be­lieves is con­tribut­ing to one of the ma­jor con­cerns with the en­tire strat­egy.

“There are some se­ri­ous con­cerns around the cost struc­ture of the new sys­tem com­pared to where we were,” he said. “For all of us, as mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, any­thing that has fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions is of great con­cern.

“We are con­cerned there is a sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased cost. We un­der­stand that be­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious comes with a price to pay.”

The fact the cost does not seem to be univer­sal for dif­fer­ent ju­ris­dic­tions of the prov­ince is also a con­cern for Far­well, who will rep­re­sent his town on the re­gional waste man­age­ment board.

Waste from Gan­der is be­ing shipped to the re­gional site in Nor­ris Arm. Col­lec­tion is be­ing done through the joint sys­tem of­fered through the board. There is a site in Gan­der for those with ac­cess to it.

FILE PHOTO

Percy Far­well, mayor of Gan­der.

CORY HUR­LEY/THE NOR’WESTER

Scott Furey, deputy mayor of Baie Verte.

CORY HUR­LEY/THE NOR’WESTER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.