10 Years ago

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial -

In­cin­er­a­tor flames go out Dec. 31

They’ve been in use for years; and were once con­sid­ered and ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy for waste man­age­ment. How­ever, come Dec. 31, the 25 in­cin­er­a­tors still op­er­at­ing in this province will be ex­tin­guished, per­ma­nently.

Open burn­ing has al­ready been banned at dump­sites across the province, ef­fec­tive March 31 this year.

Since 2002, 25 in­cin­er­a­tors have been de­com­mis­sioned. En­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Char­lene John­son ex­plains the de­ci­sion to close in­cin­er­a­tors is as a re­sult of a com­mit­ment made in 2002 by the Cana­dian Coun­cil of Min­is­ters of the En­vi­ron­ment.

“It was com­mit­ted at that time that by 2008 we would have them all gone,” she says. “In 2002 there were 50 in­cin­er­a­tors in the province and 25 of them were phased out by 2005.”

The rea­son for the clo­sure of the in­cin­er­a­tors is to elim­i­nate dioxin emis­sions.

John­son ex­plains, “It was es­ti­mated in 2002, when this com­mit­ment was made, that 25 per cent of dioxin emis­sions in Canada came from this province alone; be­cause th­ese are low-tem­per­a­ture, low-ef­fi­ciency in­cin­er­a­tors.”

The Towns of Bonavista and Trin­ity Bay North are now con­tem­plat­ing how they will man­age garbage when they can longer send it up in smoke.

About 2,000 house­holds and sev­eral busi­nesses — from Bonavista, El­lis­ton and Spil­lar’s Cove — use the waste dis­posal site near Bonavista.

Town man­ager Calvin Rolls says the in­cin­er­a­tor is fired up every day to dis­pose of the waste. Dur­ing the fire sea­son, the in­cin­er­a­tor is shut down and the waste is back­filled. Rolls says back­fill­ing is more costly than in­cin­er­a­tion.

“You’re talk­ing about a fair amount of fill when you’re up there two or three days a week back­fill­ing.”

Rolls says the fill for the dump comes from a nearby pit. How­ever, he says, once they have used up the ma­te­rial in that pit, fill will be hard to come by given the rocky, boggy to­pog­ra­phy of the area. Waste man­age­ment will cost more money, he pre­dicts, once the in­cin­er­a­tor shuts down. Even­tu­ally, garbage from the area will be trans­ported to the Robin Hood Bay re­gional site, tar­geted to be op­er­a­tional by 2011, or the cen­tral re­gional site in Norris Arm, sched­uled to open in 2012.

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