Board con­sid­ers al­ter­na­tive land­fill site for GNP

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - STEPHEN ROBERTS NORTH­ERN PEN

ST. AN­THONY, N.L. – The NorPen Re­gional Ser­vices Board is seek­ing a new lo­ca­tion for the land­fill site to serve St. An­thony and area.

Gerry Gros, chair­man of the board, told The North­ern Pen the search is just be­gin­ning.

The ac­tion comes fol­low­ing com­plaints from lo­cal peo­ple that the cur­rent site is not big enough to han­dle the waste from Subre­gion 1, which takes in St. An­thony to Cook’s Har­bour and L’Anse aux Mead­ows.

So far, the former Cook’s Har­bour land­fill site has been con­sid­ered and Gros says they’ll see if there’s a pit avail­able that can han­dle waste near the St. An­thony Air­port. But there’s much to do, he said.

“We’ve got to do some re­search be­fore we can make any kind of de­ci­sion be­cause, re­gard­less of where we put it, there’s go­ing to be a cost in­volved,” Gros told The North­ern Pen.

He hopes they can reach a de­ci­sion in the next cou­ple of months.

“Re­gard­less of what di­rec­tion we take, it’s not go­ing to make ev­ery­body happy,” he said. “But we have to try to find the best so­lu­tion that suits the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple and keeps our costs down.”

In re­cent months, there have been com­plaints of the land­fill site ex­ceed­ing its in­tended ca­pac­ity. St. An­thony town coun­cil, in par­tic­u­lar, has been voic­ing con­cern.

“I’m of firm be­lief that it’s out­grown its space... it’s not big enough in my opin­ion to ser­vice the area,” St. An­thony Mayor Des­mond McDon­ald told the North­ern Pen ear­lier, in March 14 story.

McDon­ald also wor­ried about how the cur­rent site’s prox­im­ity to the town could af­fect the en­vi­ron­ment and aes­thet­ics of the area.

“We have a growing tourism in­dus­try, and peo­ple’s mind­sets are chang­ing around waste and how they view the land­scape and the beauty of New­found­land and Labrador,” he said.

“That’s not some­thing you want on your front door... there’s al­ways plas­tic bags blow­ing around in the trees.”

Gros, who lives in An­chor Point, out­side of Subre­gion 1, says he has not had the op­por­tu­nity to visit the land­fill site re­cently. He says he’s heard con­trast­ing in­for­ma­tion about its con­di­tion.

“The gen­eral pop­u­la­tion thinks it’s a dis­as­ter but some of my staff thinks it’s okay,” he said.

But he’s tak­ing con­cerns se­ri­ously and firmly be­lieves the site is too close to the com­mu­nity of St. An­thony.

LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS?

Whether a new site will be the long-term so­lu­tion, Gros says, de­pends on re­sults from the prov­ince’s com­pre­hen­sive re­view of its waste man­age­ment strat­egy.

As pro­posed, the strat­egy would see the North­ern Penin­sula’s waste shipped to Nor­ris Arm in Cen­tral New­found­land.

Gros has stressed re­peat­edly that this is not fi­nan­cially fea­si­ble. Trans­porta­tion costs and tip­ping fees, he says, will sim­ply be too much. The board is also re­search­ing dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies and other al­ter­na­tives.

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