Trash Talk

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Oxford County council's zero waste report is looking to extend the life of the Salford landfill, however Woodstock City council is suggesting to look over all the options. City council suggests the County follow a complete Municipal Class Environmental Assessment in order to explore all the options.

OXFORD COUNTY - Oxford County council's zero waste report was recently reviewed by city council.

Oxford County's report is looking at extending the life of the Salford landfill. 

Woodstock City council has suggested some options for the County to look over before approval, and City Engineer Harold deHaan says a complete Municipal Class Environmental Assessment needs to happen.

"The County's report seemed to have a solution that all of sudden was adding a component that their council had not already approved, so they were moving forward, it appears, with a component that wasn't approved by council. So it seems to staff what needs to happen is a complete Municipal Class EA process to determine what the appropriate solution to this problem is, and that whole process would look at all the options fully and also compare. The Municipal Class EA process requires that all solutions be compared to a number of different factors and then weighted accordingly and no one factor can override another factor. So you look at things like environmental, financial, cultural, social impacts and you can't say that the environmental impact overrides all the other ones, or you can't say that the cost overrides all the other ones. They're all the same weighting and what you do is you judge all the options on those factors to come out with a preferred option, and we believe that's what needs to happen in this case, for this problem."

deHaan adds the Advanced Disposal Reduction component was not a part of the originally proposed solution. He says fully investigating ADR, along with Source Separated Organics are the options they want the County to explore. 

SSO is a green bin program that requires residents to separate their organics from their garbage, so it can be collected separately and receive the appropriate treatment. According to the report the specifics on ADR are not known, however it will apparently increase diversion to 93% and extend the life of the landfill to well beyond the year 2100.

Mayor Trevor Birtch says the extension of the landfill can benefit the community.

"It's always something where if we can help educate the public on how to handle their waste properly, we all win. This is about the continued growth of our community. We've experienced large growth in our residential, our commercial and our industrial uses and through the education that has taken place since bag tags were introduced, we've already extended the life of the landfill by an additional 40 years. So a little bit more time for education, we might see more improvements without having to spend a lot of money on a project."

Council's report also states the zero waste report includes some high level capital and operating costs associated with the different scenarios. The scenarios involve capital funds of estimated $42 million dollars, and increases of operating costs up to over 2.5 times the current costs. The Waste Management Department at the County has striven to be user funded through the use of bag tags, and if this philosophy were to continue, it would push the cost of bag tags to over $5.00 per tag.

The landfill's life span is until 2060 and the County is looking to extend it to the year 2100. 

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