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July 2, 2009
Medical Officer of Health calls for cooperation at temporary waste sites
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David McKeown, has issued the following statement regarding the potential health hazards with temporary waste sites:

“Since the beginning of the labour disruption, I have been working in co-operation with the City’s Solid Waste Division to monitor the status of the management of temporary garbage sites. In this context, I visited the Christie Pits site this morning to observe the conditions of the garbage accumulation as a result of the inability of pest control operators and City management to enter the site to apply pesticides and remove standing water to prevent health hazards associated with rodent and insect infestations.

As I have stated previously, a well-managed temporary garbage site does not create a health hazard. However, it is essential that adequate pest control measures are maintained at these sites to prevent infestations of insects or rodents which may present a potential health hazard.

Today I have consulted with both the Solid Waste Division and the city’s contracted pest control operator to review the situation at Christie Pits and the overall management of the temporary garbage sites.

I am issuing an appeal to residents who are concerned about the garbage to cooperate with city officials and to ensure access to these sites by the pest control operator.

While I appreciate there are concerns about the use of pesticides, I am satisfied that the city is taking the necessary precautions to ensure pesticides are applied in a way that minimizes any risk to public health.

I will continue to review the situation at Christie Pits and other locations on a day to day basis. If necessary I will use my authority under the provisions of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to issue an order to the City with specific requirements that temporary garbage sites are managed to prevent health hazards associated with rodent and insect infestations.”

Dr. McKeown will be available at 4:00 pm today to answer questions about this statement.

Where: 5th Floor, 277 Victoria St. (TPH offices, northeast corner of Dundas Square)
When: TODAY - 4pm, Thursday, July 2

Media contact: Toronto Public Health, Media Relations, Anne Marie Aikins,, 416-896-2695



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