Microbe Motel will never be free of odours, operators say

Now they tell us.

Some $33 million spent on a plant to handle wet waste and it doesn’t work. Add another estimated $15 million for green bins and the automated trucks to empty them, and we’re staring at almost $50 million.

Ken Spira has some important information in guelphspeaks comments that will astonish the public who have to finance this project.

How did this happen? How could civic staff and council ever approve this spending without considering that it was too expensive and would not meet specifications, particularly eliminating odours.

Did they not realize that the type of material that was being composted was of varying degrees and quality. Each time they process a batch, the recipe is different. What happens when the temperature drops? Do the microbes munching on the stuff curl up and die or just strike because it’s too cold?

Were there no professionals on city staff to warn of this toxic mix that cannot be controlled, no matter what the operators say. Did the city obtain outside advice as to the experience in other communities in handling a mish-mash of wet garbage? In all types of weather?

Now we learn that a stack afterburner costing $59,000 was roughed in but the equipment was not installed. Another rough in was $25,000 for an acid scrubber that the designer of the Plant, Maple Reinders, did not include in the modeling. The entire cost of the acid scrubber is $392,679.58. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) mandated the scrubber had to be installed.

As this horror story unfolds, the reputation of Maple Reinders is slowly sinking as more facts of cost cutting and design shortcuts are revealed.

The responsibility for this lies with Janet Laird, Executive Director of the environmental services and engineering. It is doubtful that she will be asked to resign as she is too close to Mayor Karen Farbridge.

As former president Harry S Truman said: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

That time has arrived.

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1 Comment

Filed under Between the Lines

One response to “Microbe Motel will never be free of odours, operators say

  1. Craig Chamberlain

    Is “odourless” necessarily “odour-free”? Exactly what I predicted. A litigator’s dream.

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