Disposal sites planned for region
Proposed locations include Harbour Grace, Cavendish and Whitbourne
Eastern Waste Management is proposing that new bulk waste disposal sites be opened in Harbour Grace, Cavendish and Whitbourne as part of its final regional waste management plan.
The organization announced Oct. 18 it is proposing to the provincial government that 10 waste recovery facilities (WRF) should be established in Eastern Newfoundland. These facilities will allow residents to dispose of bulk items, including appliances (washers, dryers, hot water boilers), furniture (mattresses, couches, tables), shingles, tires, construction and demolition waste
Five are already operating, including one in Old Perlican, and five more, including three in the Trinity-Conception region, should be operational by next summer.
“ This is good news,” Whitbourne Mayor Lloyd Gosse said Oct. 19.
Gosse said he was not aware of the announcement until being contacted by The Compass.
“It would have been nice to get a heads-up, but we’ll try and get a meeting with them so we can get tuned in.”
Harbour Grace Mayor Don Coombs was also pleased, saying such a facility should help reduce the problem of illegal dumping in the region.
“ This is a great announcement for Harbour Grace and the entire area,” Coombs told CBC News during an interview last week.
Coombs expects the new sites will create jobs, and ease the burden on those who have to transport bulk items to the regional waste facility at Robin Hood Bay in St. John’s. “I see a reduced cost for that,” he said. While there’s been no confirmation on where the sites will be situated, Coombs is confident the Harbour Grace facility will be established on the site of the former regional landfill.
“It’s easily accessible. It’s on the main road. And people in the area are used to going there. It would be logical to me right now,” he said.
According to a news release, the recovery facilities will “provide convenient local dropoff sites for bulk, self-hauled materials, and household hazardous waste, with the intent that these facilities will be part of the solution to reducing illegal dumping and provide a timely alternative disposal option to curbside programs for bulk and metal materials.”
The plan, which includes the establishment of a transfer station in the Clarenville area, was described as “comprehensive and functional,” and sets the path for the “continued progress toward achieving the full benefits of a modern waste management system in the Eastern Region.”
More than 70 per cent of the region’s landfills have been closed in recent years, explained Ken Kelly, chief administrative officer of Eastern Waste Management.
At present, approximately 124 out of the 163 communities — an estimated 95 per cent of the population — in the Eastern Region use the Integrated Waste Facility at Robin Hood Bay.
The finalization of the plan follows an analysis of the necessity of infrastructure, the economic analysis of waste site requirements and the development of a definitive policy on transportation costs, Kelly added.
The sites were chosen based on a policy that “no community will be responsible for transporting residential waste further than 100 kilometres.”
And regardless of the location of each community, there will be access to at least one WRF located no further than 70 kilometres away.
Meanwhile, area leaders remain upbeat that curbside recycling will come to the area in the future. It’s just a matter of time, said Coombs.
“ We have to get on board. We have to make it happen,” Coombs said.
With curbside recycling already underway in the Southwest Avalon and Conception Bay Centre, there is growing interest amongst communities in the region to participate.
Kelly said the provision of curbside recycling services is planned for the Southern Shore and Trinity Bay North in 2012.
“ Today, approximately half of the residents in the Eastern Region have access to biweekly curbside recycling, including communities as small as Great Barasway with three households, right up to large metropolitan areas like St. John’s,” Kelly said.