COMMENT: “Environmental Centre” is just lipstick on a landfill

Carp Road Landfill

On Tuesday night at the public meeting on the proposed Site Plan Control for the proposed West Carleton Environmental Centre (WCEC) landfill on Carp Road there was considerable discussion about the lack of information on waste diversion facilities.

For the past five years Waste Management has promoted the WCEC as an entirely new approach to managing waste with a primary focus on waste diversion. The banner image on the front page of the WCEC website shows the vision of large waste processing facilities along Carp road and some people at the meeting wanted to know why these facilities were not on the Site Plan drawings.

In the description of these processing facilities Waste Management describes a “Material Recycling Facility” that will house the latest technology to sort and process paper, glass, plastics, metals and electronics that can be processed into products. The facility will help divert thousands of tonnes of material from disposal, reducing the need for new resources to create products. For five years the WCEC website has illustrated the Recycling Facility with a photograph of a modern multi-line processing process.

The West Carleton Environmental Centre will focus on waste diversion, diverting as much waste as possible away from disposal to reuse and recycling for purposes.  It will also include additional lands set aside for community recreational purposes and wildlife habitat as well as a state-of-the-art, environmentally engineered landfill for the disposal of residual waste while generating clean renewable energy.

(quote from the Waste Management web site)

What the audience heard at the meeting was very disappointing. Waste Management will not be building the new recycling facility, but rather they will use the existing waste transfer station at the back of the site to collect whatever source separated material they may receive and compact it for transfer to other facilities.  Recycling will only represent a tiny fraction of the operation at the landfill.

There’s a stark disconnect between what has been promised for the past five years during the Environmental Assessment and what was presented at the Site Plan Control meeting.

It is obvious from the site plan that the focus of the WCEC will be the landfill disposal of waste rather than recovery and diversion of valuable materials from the waste stream.

(Harold Moore is a member of  The Don’t Let Ottawa Go To Waste (DLOGTW) coalition, a grassroots organization founded by local residents to oppose the expansion of the Carp Road Landfill.)


1 thought on “COMMENT: “Environmental Centre” is just lipstick on a landfill”

  1. Adding insult to injury, Waste Management has declined repeated calls to hold a public meeting in Stittsville about the site plan control, opting to hold a hastily planned meeting in Carp, where the landfill has less of an immediate impact.

    As both a Stittsville resident and member of the local Stittsville Village Association, I am extremely disappointed in the way the ‘environmental centre’ aspect of the plans were overstated to the public and in WM’s refusal to answer for what is missing on the site plan at a meeting in Stittsville. It doesn’t reflect the ‘engaged corporate citizen’ profile touted on the WCEC website.
    l also feel the City could and should have done more to insist on a meeting in Stittsville, and at the very least should have accommodated the SVA’s request to extend the comment period by two weeks to give additional time for residents to form and communicate their thoughts on the site plan.

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