Posted by Magda
The reason for the closure of the city's wet plant in the summer of 2006 has long been a hot topic around here. Now, the city's new plan for its trash has this to say:
The city successfully operated the Wet-Dry-Plus program until 2006 when a series of structural issues and complaints about off-site odour impacts from the organic waste processing facility forced that facility closure (page 25).
I remember -- fondly -- an intense debate with my former colleague, Brian Whitwham. A few councillors had told him the plant was closed because of odour problems; I insisted it was because of the decaying roof. Here's what he ended up writing in February, 2007:
In a vaguely worded motion last May, the previous council closed the facility shortly after the city had been denied a federal-provincial grant to fix the roof. But several members of the previous council have said they intended to close the plant because the Ministry of the Environment had concerns about alleged odours from the facility.
I couldn't remember what the actual motion said, so I looked it up this afternoon (page 9):
Whereas the city has requested that the Ministry of the Environment issue an order to facilitate an air management pilot project at the organic facility and such an order has not yet been received by the city;
And whereas the city has requested from the MOE various amendments to the Certificate of Approval for the Waste Resource Innovation Centre and such amendments have not yet been received by the city;
And whereas the city's application for COMRIF funding for the necessary upgrades to the organic facility has not been approved;
And whereas the city intends to continue to divert its organic waste from landfill;
Therefore be it resolved:
1. That the City of Guelph temporarily cease receiving and processing organic waste at the organic facility as soon as technically feasible and in compliance with all approvals and regulations;
2. That during this period of interim cessation of processing organic waste at the organic facility, staff be directed to divert, as soon as possible, organic waste from the landfill, and that staff be authorized to issue an appropriate RFP;
3. That the MOE be requested to respond to the City of Guelph's prior request for the issuance of an order and for amendments to the City's Certificate of Approval;
4. That staff be directed to report back on feasible options for the diversion of organic waste from landfill including funding implications;
5. That the city undertake the strategic plan for solid waste management, as approved in the 2006 budget.
(The motion, by the way, passed unanimously, with Laura Baily, Christine Billings, David Birtwistle, Lise Burcher, Cathy Downer, Ray Ferraro, Rocco Furfaro, Peter Hamtak, Maggie Laidlaw, Dan Moziar, Dan Schnurr and Mayor Quarrie voting for, and Gloria Kovach absent.)
I've got to say I'm a little miffed by the fact the motion doesn't match up with the reasons given in the report.
And, of course, by the fact that Whitwham was right.