Posted November 2, 2012
Edited and Reprinted with permission
Importing waste from the United States into Guelph is just wrong in so many ways.
The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) was built like the new Organic Waste Processing Facility (OWPF), is far too large for our needs, now and in the future.
The original multi-million dollar MRF was injected with additional millions of our tax dollars in the recent past to increase its efficiency. This resulted in processing more material (recyclables) using fewer people and layoffs resulted. It is suspected that laid-off staff was likely given jobs at City Hall where they are handing them out like candy on Halloween.
To keep the MRF running for a full shift with the people who could not fit into City Hall, we have been importing waste from municipalities throughout Ontario. According to a Ministry of Environment (MOE) odour survey, the increased volume that the residences south of the facility thought were coming from the adjacent organics facility.
It is hard to distinguish exactly where the odour of burning taxpayer’s cash is coming from at the Dunlop Drive facility. However the MOE has spent plenty of time with the best equipment to track it down. According to its latest report, odours are coming from the MRF building as well as the transfer station. Both the MOE and neighbours are not happy about it.
The recommendation by the MOE is that we taxpayers install odour abatement systems in both the MRF and Transfer building. This is similar to the multi-million dollar bio-filter and stack in the new Organics facility that apparently is to control odours in the building.
A new private facility just opened in Cambridge and has taken a good chunk of Ontario’s recyclable waste that was going to our facility to contribute to our odour issue.
Even though we were likely charging less than our costs, we are no longer competitive with the private sector despite the millions sunk into the MRF facility. Being that city staff thinks we can’t be outdone by the private sector, we the taxpayers must dig a little deeper to install odour abatement systems and lower our price to attract waste feedstock away from the Cambridge facility. After all, we have to make it worth the trip for the Americans to drive past the Cambridge facility and bring us their smelly waste.
I don’t know about you but I think something else stinks at the Guelph Waste Innovation Centre other than the imported garbage. It may be the burning of our tax dollars!