Lit­ter, scav­eng­ing prob­lems at waste fa­cil­ity

Car­bon­ear, Har­bour Grace want so­lu­tion to wan­der­ing garbage

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

In pits on the site of the old in­cin­er­a­tor in Har­bour Grace, piles of roof­ing shin­gles, tires, fur­ni­ture and branches get larger three days a week.

The lo­ca­tion is the home of the Eastern Waste Man­age­ment (EWM) waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity, a site where build­ing ma­te­ri­als, hot wa­ter tanks, met­als and so much more is col­lected.

But is­sues with lighter items, such as sid­ing, blow­ing down the road to­wards a lo­cal quarry have been brought to the at­ten­tion of EWM in the past few months.

Car­bon­ear Coun. Ed Goff was one of those that dis­cussed his con­cerns with the site at a re­cent town coun­cil meet­ing. The Com­pass spoke to him soon af­ter­wards.

“Here they are putting the build­ing ma­te­ri­als over there, and stuff like sid­ing and bags and other loose ma­te­rial blows across the street over on the whole side to­wards Concord’s pit,” he ex­plained. “(EWM) sends peo­ple around ev­ery now and again to clean it up. By that time, it’s gone into the woods some­where. And it’s not degrad­able.”

At a re­cent Har­bour Grace coun­cil meet­ing, Deputy Mayor So­nia Wil­liams echoed Goff ’s con­cerns.

“I’m very dis­ap­pointed in the state of it,” she said. “A big con- cern is that they are not tak­ing things out soon enough.”

But EWM chair Ed Grant told The Com­pass it’s not a site for trash or lit­ter, and items are trucked out regularly.

“In four months there has been 41 trips to-and-from that site,” he ex­plained. “Your base garbage, ch­ester­fields (and other bulk items) are taken.”

Tires are re­moved by the Multi-Ma­te­ri­als Stew­ard­ship Board and a sep­a­rate com­pany picks up met­als.

Elec­tron­ics are no longer col­lected there, but when they were they were picked up sep­a­rately as well for re­cy­cling.

Scav­eng­ing

Grant said the Har­bour Grace site has some unique chal­lenges com­pared to oth­ers. Scav­eng­ing is one of them.

“We had to stop do­ing elec­tron­ics in Har­bour Grace,” he noted.

When the site did take elec­tron­ics, they were locked up. But af­ter hours, peo­ple would ac­cess the site and beat the lock off.

Un­like other fa­cil­i­ties, there is an ATV trail that runs along­side the site. Be­cause it’s public ac­cess, Har­bour Grace would not al­low the path to get closed off.

“This is the most prob­lem­atic site we have when it comes to scav­eng­ing and the num­ber of peo­ple go­ing on the site,” Grant said.

One of the big­gest is­sues was theft of me­tal and wire, which can be resold.

In one in­ci­dent, some­one tried to melt plas­tic around cop­per wire, and ended up start­ing a fire. The Har­bour Grace Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade was called in and a piece of heavy equip­ment had to be used to ac­cess the fire.

“It has to stop,” Grant ex­plained. “It’s caus­ing dou­ble the work to clean up.”

It’s illegal to take ma­te­rial from the site, but so far there has been no way to catch them. But that is about to change.

A se­cu­rity sys­tem is be­ing in­stalled in the com­ing weeks, and EWM plans to pros­e­cute any­one that tres­passes on or scav­enges from the site.

“We want to work with the towns and the RCMP, and hope­fully we can dis­cour­age peo­ple from com­ing on the site,” he said.

So­lu­tions

Both Goff and Wil­liams want to see some­thing in place to pre­vent the garbage from blow­ing around and peo­ple from go­ing on to the site af­ter hours.

Goff wants a bar­rier placed around the most prom­i­nent pits where lighter items are stored, or around the whole site if pos­si­ble.

“It wouldn’t take much to put a fence up, you know an eight­foot fence,” he said. “At least on the preva­lent wind side. It would prob­a­bly be a more ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tion. What they’re spend­ing on labour, they’d get back very quick if they were to close it off with a fence.”

Wil­liams wants to pre­vent peo­ple from go­ing on the site af­ter hours be­cause of li­a­bil­ity con­cerns, among other rea­sons.

“If they get in­jured on that site do­ing what­ever they’re do­ing, we could be in a po­si­tion where we are li­able,” she ex­plained.

She would also like to see the site cleaned up more, not­ing it is an “eye­sore” to the town.

“It’s bad,” she said. “Worse than I’ve ever seen.”

The Har­bour Grace waste fa- cil­ity is opened Tues­day and Thurs­day from noon to 4 p.m. and Satur­day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more, visit www.east­ern­waste.ca.

PHOTO BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COM­PASS

The sky’s the limit with this pile of shin­gles that have been build­ing at the Har­bour Grace waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity since the last pick up.

Multi-Ma­te­ri­als Ste­wartship Board col­lects tires from the Har­bour Grace waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity site.

PHOTOS BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COM­PASS

Pal­lets, doors, win­dow frames and many other wooden items sit in the pit at the Har­bour Grace waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity on In­cin­er­a­tor Road wait­ing for pick up.

A pile of me­tal in one of the pits at the Har­bour Grace waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity.

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