20 questions about Guelph’s Organic Waste Processing Facility

Posted August 27, 2013

The following questions remain unanswered by Mayor Farbridge’s administration despite many attempts to obtain the answers. This has occurred for good reasons, as the administration is too embarrassed to allow the truth to be told. From the get-go, this was a failed project that lacked a business plan, created by a naive management team and powered by a small group of elected ideologues. They were determined to use city money to meet their unrealistic goals to divert waste from the landfill.


1. Why did general contractor Maple Reinders tell an Ottawa construction convention that Guelph’s Organic Waste Processing Facility (OWPF) cost $28 million. The city claims it cost $31.6 million.

2. What happened to the $3.6 million difference?

3. Is there an operating contract between the city (owner of OWPF) and Maple Reinders and its subsidiary companies Aim Environmental (AE), Wellington Organix (WO)?

4. What are details of the legal obligation between the city and the Maple Reinders companies?

5. What are the details of financing the OWPF?

6. Does the city pay all debt servicing and maintenance costs?

7. Does AE/WO have exclusive rights to operate the OWPF plus sales of composted material?

8. If so, what are the terms of the contract, length of agreement, commissions, loss provision, depreciation, and operational subsidies?

9. What are the commissions paid to AE/WO on the sale of OWPF capacity?

10. Why is the Region of Waterloo failing to meet its contract to deliver 20,000 tonnes of feedstock to the OWPF?

11. Is the Region paying for the 20,000 tonnes regardless of whether they meet the contract to deliver?

12. Why is the city now offering, through its agent, to sell the unused Region of Waterloo to other communities?

13. Who pays for removal of rejected feedstock to the OWPF?
14. What are the operating costs per processed tonne of the OWPF?

15. What are the full operating costs of the OWPF including overhead, debt charges, commissions, bonuses, salaries and benefits, insurance, consultants, maintenance, modifications legal and accounting, engineering?

16. What is the 2013 estimated revenue from OWPF operations?

17. What was the profit (loss) position of the OWPF in 2012?

18. What did the “Arkona Farmer” pay for the 3,400 tonnes of compost produced by OWPF in 2012?

19. Did AE/WO negotiate that sale? Was there a commission paid for that transaction?

20. Why did the city build a plant to process its wet waste that is triple its ability to collect and supply feedstock? Particularly when the city refuses to collect waste from 6,400 condominium households that represent 13.6 per cent of total households in the city. Further, those residents must pay $1,433,600 to the city for NOT collecting its garbage. Instead they pay private contractors to remove their garbage that winds up, unprocessed, in the landfill.

* * * *

If this $52 million exercise was to divert waste from the landfill, unless proven otherwise, it is an expensive and colossal failure.

If the city lacks the capacity to feed wet waste into its organic composting plant, now or in the future, taxpayers must ask: “What were they thinking?”

Too late, we’re stuck with this gigantic white elephant that citizens will be paying for over the next 20 years.

And it was created by a few elected officials under the leadership of Mayor Karen Farbridge, who put their personal environmental views ahead of the city’s ability to process waste from all homes and pay for it.


Filed under Between the Lines

2 responses to “20 questions about Guelph’s Organic Waste Processing Facility

  1. paul

    A certain female who is pro environment is part of the waste that the city has.

  2. Jerry

    Hi Gerry
    We will never know the truth about this because all the senior officials
    involved have either been removed(fired)and been paid to keep their mouth’s shut.
    And for paying for this plant for 20 years is right but by then it would have broken down like the first one and be a empty building taken over by the
    We will probable be shipping our waste to a Cambridge to be processed?
    Have a great day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s