Word is now out that Guelph’s $47 million wet waste plant may be able to accept waste in plastic bags. That would include diapers and dog poop.
What? Didn’t the Ministry of Environment rule that the city had to convert to green bins when collecting waste for the new $33 million facility on Watson Road? That decision hinged on Ministry approval to operate the plant. The conversion from plastic to bins will cost an additional $15 million.
Now a similar operation in Ottawa may have changed the landscape. In a court decision, the company operating the Ottawa facility, won their point that the plant could accept waste in plastic bags. That decision is being appealed no doubt by red-faced officials in the Ministry of Environment.
In a strange way, this development may provide Guelph with some temporary financial relief. This project is the biggest in terms of capital spending undertaken by the Farbridge Administration.
While the appeals wind their way through the courts, wet garbage in plastic can be accepted in the new Guelph processing plant. That means the $15 million price tag for bins and trucks can be delayed, thereby offering a breather to depleted city coffers.
While the event is temporarily fortuitous for the city, it must remain committed to the bin conversion.
From inception, this project has been fraught with secrecy, misconceptions and lying by omission on the part of the city department responsible and Council.
The operating costs are still not revealed by city managers responsible nor are the impact of heavy trucks on Guelph streets bringing waste from Waterloo.
It is a far better place in which we live without laying claim to operating a “world class” waste management facility.