City moves closer to Green Lane Landfill acquisition |
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At a special meeting today, Toronto City Council brought Toronto a step closer to its Green Lane Landfill site acquisition. The $220.3 million purchase will secure the City’s long term disposal requirements for future decades.
Council authorized City staff to enter into agreements with First Nations in the vicinity of the Green Lane Landfill that establish an ongoing relationship. If the agreements are approved by the First Nations, this settlement brings closure to a pending judicial review of the purchase initiated by the Oneida Nation of the Thames. These agreements fulfill the City’s permit requirements at Green Lane to establish a First Nations Liaison Committee. A First Nations Community Benefits Agreement is also being established similar to the existing agreement with Southwold Township, Central Elgin and the City of St. Thomas.
Additional public information about the landfill purchase transaction will be made available following completion of the transaction.
Through the due diligence conducted on the landfill site, the City of Toronto estimates that it will be able to use the site until 2034, if the City meets its 70 per cent diversion target.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.
Backgrounder: Green Lane Landfill acquisition
About Green Lane
- Green Lane Landfill is located in Southwold Township in the County of Elgin, southwest of the City of London, about 200 km from downtown Toronto.
- It has the latest technology including onsite treatment of leachate and a methane gas collection and flaring systems.
- The Green Lane Landfill has been in operation since 1978. In 2006, it received provincial approval for expansion and has passed the required environmental assessment.
• The available capacity at Green Lane Landfill is approximately 15 million cubic metres or 13.8 million tonnes.
Current waste disposal at Green Lane
- There are existing waste disposal contracts with local communities, the City of Guelph and the Region of York.
- Upon assuming ownership of Green Lane, the City of Toronto has committed to honour all existing contracts.
- There are three First Nations in the vicinity of Green Lane Landfill: the Oneida Nation of the Thames, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and the Munsee-Delaware First Nation.
- Under the terms of both the Environmental Assessment and the Certificate of Approval issued by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, the establishment of a First Nations Liaison Committee is required.
- Currently, the Green Lane Community Trust Fund pays community benefits to communities in the vicinity: Southwold Township, County of Elgin and City of St. Thomas.
- The City’s contract for waste disposal in Michigan will continue until the end of 2010 and it is the intention of the City to abide by its terms.
- Both the Michigan State Legislature and the U.S. Congress have before them Bills that would limit, restrict or ban the shipment of waste from Canada.
- In the Michigan Legislature, a Bill has been introduced that would impose a $9.50/tonne (Cdn) surcharge on waste from Canada.
- In the U.S. Congress, Bill HR518 was introduced in January 2007 to the House of Representatives. It would give individual states the authority to close their borders to waste from Canada.
- Bill HR518 has subsequently been passed by two committee/subcommittees of the House on March 18 and 20. The Bill is now moving to the House for consideration. It then moves on to the Senate, and finally to the President.
- If Bill HR518 is approved by Congress, the Michigan Legislature has already enacted legislation that would close its border to Canadian waste after 90 days.
- The Environmental Assessment process being undertaken in Toronto with the assistance of the Community Environmental Assessment Team (CEAT) will continue to develop a comprehensive long-term strategic waste management plan for the City of Toronto.
- The Terms of Reference are expected to come to Toronto Council later this spring.
- In 2006, Toronto diverted 42 per cent of its solid waste from landfill – a total of 375,621 metric tonnes – an improvement over the 346,150 tonnes diverted in 2005. This diversion rate is attributed to the public’s significant participation in the City’s wide range of waste reduction programs including Blue Box, Green Bin, leaf/yard waste, Christmas trees and backyard composting, Community Environment Days, household hazardous waste depots, grasscycling, large appliance/scrap metal pick-up, etc.
- The current single-family residential diversion rate is 58 per cent and the multi-family residential diversion rate remains at 13 per cent.
- Pilot projects to test the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of collecting organics from multi-unit buildings are underway in 30 high-rise complexes.
- Toronto’s next objective is to reach 70 per cent diversion by 2010.
Stuart Green, Office of the Mayor, 416-338-7119
Brad Ross, Strategic Communications, 416-392-8937, (cell) 416-919-6503