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Site 41 dump temporarily stopped

August 2009

For good or bad, right or wrong, Simcoe County council voted to put a
one year moratorium of the construction of the Simcoe North Landfill,
AKA, Site 41.  Now Simcoe County Warden Tony Guergis is suggesting that
Site 41 be abandoned as there will never be support for situating a
landfill on the site.

I have to agree with this assessment,
but not for environmental reasons.  Although the moratorium may give
the county a chance to do new scientific studies that prove there is no
danger of contaminating the ground water, opponents of the landfill
will never be satisfied with any evidence that allows the landfill to
begin operating.  People simply don’t want a dump in their backyard,
but the reality is that we  have to put our garbage somewhere.

Site 41 has passed all necessary stages set by the Ministry of the
Environment, who say the liners and lechate controls that will be
installed with be adequate to protect groundwater.

The county has argued that for any contaminants to reach the Alliston aquifer, they would have to pass through between three and 12 metres of
extremely dense clay.  Additionally, other dumps in the county already
sit above the same aquifer.

Site 41 has been under consideration since 1986.  Why is it only now
that the issue of ground water quality is being raised?

Regardless of what the scientific studies say about the Site 41 landfill, no
landfill comes without some environmental impact.  The question we have
to ask ourselves is do we continue to utilize landfilling as our
garbage disposal method, or persue other methods such as incineration.
Clean incineration technology already exists, and combining it with an
electrical production facility (energy from waste), we get the best of
both worlds, with the least about of damage on the environment.

It’s something that we should consider.

On a related topic, do the Site 41 protesters have any ideas where the
Simcoe north municipalities can put their garbage when the current
landfill closes?

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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