County of Simcoe moving forward with organics facility
The process to determine where the county's proposed organics processing and materials management facilities will be located was recently approved by Simcoe County councillors - evaluating a shortlist of 7 sites, considering whether to co-locate an Organics Processing Facility and Materials Management Facility, and consulting with the public.
Public information sessions are scheduled for next month and the final reports, set to present the preferred option, are anticipated by early 2016.
With a commitment not to create more landfills, the Simcoe County's Solid Waste Management Strategy prioritizes the need to increase diversion rates, reduce garbage and manage the county's own processing capacity, according to Rob McCullough, director of solid waste management.
"The county will benefit from ownership and operation of its own facilities within its borders by having the ability to produce end-products such as compost and/or fertilizer for our soils," he said.
"Ultimately, the big win for the materials management facility is that it will save tax dollars and the organics processing facility demonstrates sound environmental leadership and provides greater cost security," McCullough said. "It will provide a local facility for processing of organics, increase diversion through expansion of the green-bin program and reduce environmental impacts from export of waste.
"Given anticipated growth and significant increase in the amount of divertible materials collected, the county is vulnerable to rising costs and limited capacity for increased diversion under our current process of working with external contractors," he added.
Potential sites for the organics processing facility are 2249 Flos Rd. 7 East, Springwater Township and 1637 Fairgrounds Rd. North, Clearview Township.
Potential shared sites for the materials management and organics processing facilities are: 1473/1273 Old Second South, Springwater Township; 2976 Horseshoe Valley Rd. W., Springwater Township; Line 5 North, Oro-Medonte Township; 1453 Flos Rd. 3 E., Springwater Township and 540/528 Penetanguishene Rd., Springwater Township.
The short-listed sites, including those that could potentially contain both facilities, will be analyzed on their own merits, McCullough said.
"For example, a site may have favourable transportation access and fewer neighbours than other sites, but offer a disadvantage in regards to cost," he said. "Weighing all factors and comparing the sites will allow for the preferred site to be determined."
Warden Gerry Marshall said it is "extremely important" the site-selection process includes input from residents and municipalities — especially from those where the facilities may be located — and other stakeholders, which include First Nations and Metis interests, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, conservation authorities and other county departments such as forestry and planning.
Pubic information sessions are scheduled for five days, with two sessions each day: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The format will include a formal presentation taking place at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer period. Dates and times are subject to change. Up-to-date information can be found by visiting www.simcoe.ca.
Details about the proposed facilities — including siting methodology, anticipated costs, completed meetings and reports — can be found at www.simcoe.ca/opf and www.simcoe.ca/mmf. The agenda and staff report can be found at www.simcoe.ca/dpt/clk/amr.
Public information meetings
- - Tuesday, Oct. 6: Simcoe County Museum, Springwater Township
- - Thursday, Oct. 8: Oro-Medonte Township administration centre
- - Thursday, Oct. 15: Elmvale Arena – Springwater Room, Springwater Township
- - Tuesday, Oct. 20: Stayner Arena and Community Centre, Clearview Township
- - Monday, Oct. 26: Hillsdale Community Centre, Springwater Township