Saturday, April 08, 2006

Stittsville Residents are Stinking Mad Over a Plan to Expand the Landfill

Stittsville residents are stinking mad over a plan to expand the Carp Rd. landfill they thought was to close.

When teacher Jane McNorgan moved to the booming bedroom community six years ago, she didn't expect to smell what locals dub Garbage Mountain.

She was upset to hear of plans to expand the landfill and will be on hand to oppose it at a public meeting on March 1.

"When we moved here, I was told the landfill would be closing -- it's filled to capacity," she said. "That was an issue in relocating to Stittsville, not Manotick or another area. Had I known the dump was going to go on for 25 years, I wouldn't have purchased in the area."

As the proposal heads to a city committee Tuesday, residents admit no one else wants Ottawa's garbage, either.

"I know it has to go somewhere," McNorgan said with a sigh. "We should all reduce. That should be the focus, not where we're going to put the garbage. It's going to end up in someone's backyard."

Waste Management, the company that runs the Carp Rd. landfill, argues that expanding the dump is the only way to meet the city's growing recycling, composting and landfill needs for the next 25 years.


The project would capture methane gas to power 13,000 homes and greenhouses to grow vegetables.

The company shouldn't count its tomatoes yet.

Coun. Janet Stavinga has vowed to fight the expansion. She proposed waste-diversion projects instead of new landfill space, noting her constituents are angry about the landfill -- and resulting stink -- potentially getting bigger.

"One of the real concerns is the consistent odour problem," she said, adding the company has done what it can.

The dump has also spawned rumours -- including that it's full of Hogtown trash.

Ottawa does not -- and never has -- accepted garbage from Toronto, said Michael Walters, Waste Management's senior district manager of landfills for Eastern Canada.

And the landfill should soon become less smelly.

Waste Management uses a water-based mist to help mask the smell, but can't use the system in winter. It will add new technology within weeks that works in cold weather.

Joaquin Marin moved north of Stittsville a few years ago. Now there's a new subdivision next door where homeowners may not expect a whiff of rotting garbage.

"It's bad, bad, bad," he said. "The dump is coming closer and closer to us here. It used to be far from Ottawa. The problem is we need houses, you can't stop the city growing. The dump has to go somewhere else. It should go far away."


Just the facts:

- 90% of the total capacity of the Carp Rd. landfill site is reserved for garbage produced by Ottawa residents.

- 10% is of the site is reserved for garbage produced by surrounding municipalities, including Carleton Place, Smith Falls, Kingston and Brockville.

- None of Toronto's garbage is trucked to Ottawa.

- 100% of Toronto's garbage is trucked to Michigan.


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