10 Years ago
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.