Opinion

Environment Ministry Wants Comment on Landfill Expansion

A Hamilton company wants to expand its landfill to include waste from New York and Michigan states.

By Joshua Weresch
Published January 08, 2014

Here is Da-Lee Group at 350 Jones Road in Hamilton. It's a beautiful spot, isn't it? (Ironically, given the tenor of this article, Da-Lee is just south-west of AIM Environmental Group: they should work together, if they haven't already.)

In December of last year, a letter [PDF] was sent from the provincial Ministry of the Environment to municipal council. Public comment on this matter is open until January 18.

Currently, the Da-Lee Group landfill, according to the Environmental Registry, "receives up to 100 tonnes per day of solid non-hazardous waste, 103 tonnes per day of solid hazardous waste, 750 cubic metres per day aggregate total of liquid industrial waste, liquid hazardous waste and other liquid waste."

The company would like to expand this landfill, which serves the province of Ontario, "to include New York and Michigan States and to increase the amount of received waste."

Communication I've received from Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality has stated that they do not track waste, which is an article of commerce under the North American Free Trade Agreement (your waste is golden: how Freudian is that?), that leaves the state.

So, fellow citizens, where does this leave us? More waste from places far, rather than near; the inevitability of profit from continued waste collection instead of its diversion; and a rising land-fill: I would submit that none of these things should occur in a city that aspires to be the best place to raise a child.

Pressure should be placed upon the appropriate governing bodies, municipal, provincial, or federal, to reduce the plastic packaging of commercial and edible items; we should continue to insist on home-made, self-reliant ways of living in the world; and, wherever possible, we should maintain balance, an indigenous and deeply spiritual way of life.

Joshua Weresch lives in the neighbourhood of Centremount with his wife and daughters. He tends vegetables, writes songs and sings, and is only beginning to care about community.

10 Comments

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By Arvind (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 11:48:08

Thank you for bringing attention to this issue. If enough citizens raise a concern, we can stop garbage this from happening.

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By Joshua (registered) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 23:10:18 in reply to Comment 96501

I hope so. Contact your ward's councillor and bring it to their attention.

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By Concerned (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 12:23:04

Thank you for posting the article. Before I jump to condemning what is happening, does anyone know what Da-Lee Group does with the waste material and where does it go after processing?

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By Joshua (registered) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 23:11:09 in reply to Comment 96502

They've not yet responded to my requests to meet with them to ask them these questions as well as about alternatives to land-fill--such as waste diversion.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 13:28:57

The company has an accompanying application for Air & Noise pollution which has a deadline of January 17th (one day earlier) for submissions. It is referenced in the last line of the "Description of Instrument" section found at the link posted in the article.

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By Joshua (registered) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 23:12:00 in reply to Comment 96509

Thanks for including that. I'd forgotten to mention it in the article. Again, thanks; I appreciate the help.

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By lyndalukasik (registered) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 15:46:46

It's worth taking the time to submit your comments and concerns through the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). You can do this on-line via the EBR on-line registry - use the link in the article. The Ministry of the Environment is obligated,under the EBR, to review your concerns and to provide at least a basic level of explanation as to why they opt not to heed your concerns, or, alternatively, they'll explain changes to a permit as a result of your input. Environment Hamilton (we're a local not-for-profit for those who don't know us) uses EBR commenting rights regularly and we're happy to help anyone out there who is interested in preparing and submitting comments. You also have the right to request to view the file for this application - available at the Hamilton District Office of the MOE. We've already done this and can share details - including a listing of all of the waste classes this facility wants to be able to accept. You can contact us by phone at (905) 549-0900 or via email at contactus@environmenthamilton.org

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By Joshua (registered) | Posted January 08, 2014 at 23:13:39 in reply to Comment 96516

Thanks, Lynda. Everyone: do what she says and contact Environment Hamilton. They've been doing this work since we were knee-high to grass-hoppers and they do a fine, necessary, and public work.

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By Keith (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2014 at 10:41:15

To be fair, it's unfair to refer to them as a "landfill". If you take the time to look at their website you'll see that the "facility acts as a transfer station where we consolidate liquid waste. The wastewater is then shipped to various wastewater treatment facilities in Canada and the USA. We reclaim and recycle used oil which is transported to either a re-refinery for base oil production or used in fuel blending applications."

It goes on to say that the site also hosts a sludge and slurry solidification pit which enables it to meet MOE guidelines to be disposed of in a landfill (this most likely being the leftover of standard wastewater treatment facilities which all of us contribute to and no legitimate alternatives exist for large scale disposal yet)

Based on their current capacity, it's clear that most of the product they carry is brought in purely for consolidation within a 24-hour period since the daily haulage maximums you sited exceed their storage capabilities.

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By Joshua (registered) | Posted January 22, 2014 at 21:52:48

Keith,

You're right: I should've changed it to waste transfer station. Thanks for bringing that and their other works to my attention. My focus was on the expansion of their site and the reception of garbage from the states of New York and Michigan. That latter fact remains a concern to me.

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