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September 28, 1998
City of Toronto appeals Keele Valley Landfill decision
  
The Divisional Court of Ontario today heard an appeal by the City of Toronto
from a decision certifying a class action lawsuit regarding the operation of
the Keele Valley Landfill site. Lawyers for the city told the panel of three
judges that given the extensive regulation and monitoring of the site, a class
action was not the preferable way of dealing with claims made by the plaintiff.

The City of Toronto notes that the site has always been operated and maintained
with the highest environmental and regulatory standards. The Ministry of the
Environment (MOE) constantly monitors the site and has confirmed that the site
complies with provincial standards. Angelos Bacopoulos, General Manager of
the Solid Waste Management Division of Works and Emergency Services and
responsible for the disposal of residential solid waste generated within the
City of Toronto, York Region and Durham, ensures, "The allegations in the claim
have no validity. The Keele Valley Landfill Site is extensively monitored and
regulated and it meets or exceeds all regulations set by the Ministry. In
fact, to ensure that Keele Valley meets all conditions, two Ministry inspectors
are on site." In addition, Toronto provides the MOE with detailed reports on a
regular basis on all aspects of site operations, including ground-water
monitoring, gas management and other reports as may be required by the
Ministry. Toronto has
had no indication that there are any health risks associated with the Keele
Valley site.

The City of Toronto addresses any concerns expressed by the community by
meeting with residents to provide information and to respond to any complaints
brought to its attention. To better facilitate public inquiries, the site
maintains a phone complaint system, fully investigating any concerns in a
timely and responsive manner. Toronto staff continue to act swiftly to
minimize site impacts and remain sensitive to the needs of site neighbours.

The Keele Valley Landfill Site uses advanced technology in the field of waste
disposal, particularly in the extraction and utilization of landfill gas. The
site extracts one of the highest rates of landfill gas per tonne of waste of
all landfills in North America. This gas is used to generate electricity at
the Eastern Power Limited (EPL) power plant, a private facility located on the
site. The electricity generated is sufficient to power approximately ten
thousand typical homes. At the 1997 Kyoto Conference on greenhouse gases,
Toronto was cited as a world leader in greenhouse gas reductions due to its
successful methane gas recovery from landfill facilities.

In 1983, when Toronto first acquired this industrial facility (Keele Valley),
the landfill was situated in an industrial and agricultural area. Over time,
the community has changed and developed with additional heavy industry,
residential housing developments, a new high school and retail businesses to
support the ever-growing communities of Maple and Vaughan.

Since the landfill operation began in 1983, the surrounding communities have
received royalty payments and discounted disposal privileges. To the end of
1996, local governments have received approximately $140 million in such
benefits.

Toronto received its approval for the landfill site in 1983 from the MOE after
two public hearings. In addition to the waste generated by the City of
Toronto, the Keele Valley Landfill Site receives waste from the Regional
Municipality of York and its constituent municipalities, including the City of
Vaughan, as well as much of the Regional Municipality of Durham and its
constituent area municipalities. The Keele Valley Landfill Site is scheduled
to close in 2002.

Residents with inquiries may leave a detailed message by calling either (416)
392-2995 or 1-800-465-4056 and staff will return calls.


Works and Emergency Services
(416) 392-2995 or 1-800-465-4056

 

 

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