Group rekin­dles op­po­si­tion to tire-burn­ing plan

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC - BY MICHAEL TUTTON

A group in Nova Sco­tia is as­sem­bling again to op­pose a com­pany’s plan to burn tires in a kiln it uses to make ce­ment.

Ly­dia Sor­flatin, a spokes­woman for Cit­i­zens Against Burn­ing of Tires, says the coali­tion is op­posed to the one-year pilot project re­cently ap­proved for La­farge Canada Inc., say­ing it is wor­ried about air pol­lu­tion.

“We want the pub­lic to un­der­stand there’s an­other ver­sion of how to look at things than the La­farge ver­sion,” she said. “We want the cit­i­zens to have a say.”

The cit­i­zens group, which sched­uled a pub­lic meet­ing for Wed­nes­day night, is drawn mainly from res­i­dents liv­ing near the Brook­field, N.S., plant and is com­ing to­gether a decade after a com­mit­tee formed by the prov­ince’s former Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment re­jected a pre­vi­ous at­tempt by La­farge to be­gin in­cin­er­at­ing old tires.

The res­i­dents say lit­tle has changed in terms of the pro­posed tech­nol­ogy, and they say they re­main con­cerned that the chlo­rine in tires will re­lease diox­ins that have been linked to can­cer.

Last week, the prov­ince’s re­cently elected Lib­eral gov­ern­ment ap­proved a one-year project that will mon­i­tor emis­sions from the tires be­ing in­cin­er­ated.

That came after the prov­ince’s non-profit waste-di­ver­sion agency — Di­vert NS — an­nounced about one-third of the roughly one mil­lion scrap tires made avail­able to each year to a re­cy­cling firm would in­stead be sent to La­farge.

Hal­i­fax C and D Re­cy­cling Ltd., the firm that re­cy­cles tires into con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als, has ar­gued its process of shred­ding the tires into ag­gre­gate is bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment.

Com­pany vice-pres­i­dent Mike Chas­sie said his com­pany has in­vested more than $5 mil­lion over the past nine years in cre­at­ing ways to trans­form tires into use­ful con­struc­tion ma­te­rial.

“We’re be­ing hurt by this de­ci­sion and it’s a com­plete re­verse of di­rec­tion of what was man­dated,” he said in an in­ter­view.

How­ever, La­farge, a French multi­na­tional, says burn­ing tires is bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment that us­ing other fu­els.

It has said in its pro­posal that us­ing scrap tires for ther­mal en­ergy and burn­ing them at tem­per­a­tures of 1,600 C in a ce­ment kiln can re­duce green­house gases by about 30 per cent for ev­ery tonne of coal re­placed.

La­farge will re­ceive about $105 per tonne as a sub­sidy to burn the tires - al­most half the amount that Hal­i­fax C and D would re­ceive from Di­vert NS for shred­ding.

In an email, Di­vert NS said that us­ing tires for fuel, “is a well-es­tab­lished and ac­cepted, re­search-based tech­nol­ogy used around the world, in­clud­ing re­gions with some of the strictest emis­sions stan­dards.”

CP PHOTO/AN­DREW VAUGHAN

The La­farge ce­ment plant is seen in Brook­field, N.S., on Wed­nes­day. A long­dor­mant com­mu­nity group in Nova Sco­tia is as­sem­bling again to op­pose a com­pany’s plan to burn tires in a kiln it uses to make ce­ment.

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