Fri, September 26, 2003
Dump not dead
Eves wades into Toronto's garbage disposal problems
By ZEN RURYK, CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF
Premier Ernie Eves has opened the door to reviving a controversial plan to turn the Kirkland Lake-area Adams Mine into a dump for Toronto's garbage. Eves told the Sun's editorial board he also supports examining the possibility of incinerating Toronto's garbage -- something many city councillors vehemently oppose.
When pressed about whether he considers the Adams Mine to be one of the possible solutions to Toronto's garbage problems, Eves replied: "It could include that as part of the solution."
City council approved a $1-billion deal to haul waste to the abandoned mine in October 2000, despite emotional protests from environmentalists and Northern Ontario residents.
However, that deal fell apart and the city has been sending its waste for disposal in Michigan ever since the closure of Toronto's only dump, the Keele Valley landfill in Vaughan, last Dec. 31.
"We are going to have to -- as an environmental and a health and safety issue, I would argue -- come up with a long-term solution to this problem because it can't be allowed to persist," said Eves.
Many Michigan politicians and residents are opposed to Canadian trucks dumping garbage in the state.
Eves said the time has come to consider a variety of solutions, including better recycling.
"There are some clean incineration facilities around the world now-a-days," the premier said. "So, I think you have to be open-minded about all of (these) things. I don't think you can walk into a meeting and say, 'Over my dead body -- no incineration.' "
Eves complained that Toronto councillors have not been as innovative as their counterparts in other municipalities.
"It struck me for many years that we don't seem in this city to have as good a recycling program that they have in many smaller communities around the province of Ontario," said the premier.
"That has always struck me as being rather strange. Here we are in the largest, wealthiest city in Canada and they don't have as good a recycling program as they do in Bracebridge and Parry Sound, Ontario."
He insisted Toronto council has always taken the easy route in dealing with garbage.