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Mono, 2 others, want answers on waste

September 25, 2013   ·   0 Comments

Three of Dufferin’s eight municipalities are taking county council to task over the current status of waste collection and lack of progress at Dufferin Eco Energy Park (DEEP).

A recent Mono council motion lists the items generally promised by bylaw when the county took over waste collection, along with the ways in which the promises have not been fulfilled, and it asks for a timeline for progress toward a made-in-Dufferin solution.

The motion has been endorsed by Amaranth and Mulmur councils, but received as information by Melancthon and Shelburne.

The motion wasn’t entirely unexpected.  Mono, Amaranth and Mulmur have all seen increases in their costs of waste collection along with their padlocking of their municipally owned landfill sites.

On the other hand, both Shelburne and Melancthon have seen their collection costs reduced. Melancthon gained curbside collection as well, although it too had to generally close its landfill site to public use.

The Mono motion notes, among other things, that the county bylaw on waste collection has, as part of its justification, resolutions that taken in combination identify the development of the DEEP as being to utilize composting and gasification as alternatives to landfilling.

“The primary premise for transferring waste to the upper tier was to secure the waste stream

for the two aforementioned DEEP projects.

“The Town of Mono contends that the County of Dufferin has not fulfilled, nor will it fulfill in the foreseeable future, the basic: principles set out in Dufferin Bylaw 201029.

“Effectively the county has secured the Waste stream for shipment to Michigan, including waste from municipalities that previously disposed of Waste in local Sanitary Landfill Sites (SLFS),” the motion reads in part.

It goes on to, in effect, accuse the county of breaching conditions of its bylaw, including “not effectively delivered to all County ratepayers cost savings, although the county has shifted costs from municipalities who do not have SLFS’S onto municipalities who do have their own sites, in breach of the bylaw premise as set out in the bylaw.”

It accuses the county of putting ratepayers at the risk of having their waste rejected by Michigan, and then of being forced to pay higher tipping fees in a competitive market.

It goes on to ask the following questions:

“1. What action is the county currently undertaking to bring SSO and gasification at

DEEP online and what is the timeline for that plant(s) opening for county waste?

“2. What action is the county undertaking to reduce costs rather than the shifting of

costs between municipalities, and to reverse the cost-shifting between municipalities?

“3. What action ís the county taking to secure a local waste solution in both the short

term and the long term and what are the projected timelines, including alternatives to Michigan dísposal?

“4. What action is the county taking to recognize and enable local preference as a means of cost reduction within focal municipalities?”

Initially, the county had expected to achieve a per-household reduction in waste disposal costs.

Although there has been an overall cost reduction, it transpired that costs would have to be recovered on a property assessment basis rather than a per-household one.

This has meant that costs appear to have risen wherever there are higher property market values.

Amaranth taxpayers might have gained if the township’s proposed sale of its landfill site had been completed, but that transaction died when public opposition arose over its proposed use for contaminated soil treatment.

By Wes Keller

 

         

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