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County to pursue transfer station concurrently with organics facility

Posted August 6, 2014

Simcoe County's Solid Waste Management department is seeking direction from council to "commence the necessary work to develop a transfer facility" at an estimated cost of $4.7 million, which would pay for itself within six years of its 2017 (best case scenario) opening.

The staff report is included on the August 12 County council agenda, and its recommendation would broaden the consulting contract of Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, which is currently working on the proposed organics processing, "in order to take advantage of project synergies and associated cost savings." The additional tasks will cost the County a further $61,216 in 2015.

Simcoe County's budget for transfer of its curbside waste collection and recycling was $849,000 in 2014.

"Approximately 63 per cent of curbside garbage, or 24,500 tonnes per year, is transferred from the BFI facility in Barrie and hauled to an energy-from-waste facility in Brampton for processing," according to the waste management report prepared by Willma Bureau, Contracts and Collections Supervisor and Stephanie Mack, P.Eng., Special Projects Supervisor. "In addition, approximately 11,000 tonnes per year of curbside source-separated organics are transferred and hauled to AIM Environmental in Hamilton. Over 26,500 tonnes of curbside and facilities-collected recycling are also brought to BFI for transfer to Canada Fibers in Toronto where both containers and fibres are processed."

The planning approvals process for the organics sorting facility is in its early stages with a recommendation also on the County council agenda that would strike a non-voting committee to act as the go-between the public input engagement, and the County's working group putting the pieces in place.

The most contraversial aspect of the stages will involve the site selection process, which has not yet been determined.

"While initial consideration would appear beneficial to co-locate these facilities, there is significant merit in development of two separate facilities in consideration of the following:
  • Different siting requirements - an OPF and a materials management facility are each suited to different types of properties. An OPF is best suited to a more rural setting, away from significantly populated areas and would require a large property to ensure compliance with provincial odour unit requirements. A materials management facility, with less potential for odour impacts, would not require a significant amount of land.  It will be best suited in proximity to the "waste centroid" - with a greater emphasis on access to transportation routes and a more central location.
  • Approvals complexities - siting two facilities together has the potential to further complicate already lengthy and difficult provincial approvals processes. The composting technology approvals process is more complicated than that for a transfer facility.
  • Continuity of service - in regards to business continuity planning, separate facilities would reduce the risk to the County in the event of an emergency situation. Impacts from a natural disaster, fire, or even a lengthy power outage would be mitigated by operating these facilities independently.

For these reasons, staff does not recommend siting the materials management and organics facilities together."

At this point, Simcoe County council, which is made up of the mayors and deputy mayors of the 16 municipalities, will not have an input into locations with a municipal election scheduled for October 27. Those decisions will be carried over to the next term of council.

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