On Friday, September 29, Ontario Superior Court Justice Alan Bryant ruled that odorous emissions from a recycling plant in Newmarket, Ontario constitute a public nuisance and ordered the plant to close until June 28, 2007. The plant, operated by Halton Recycling Ltd., has been in the news in the past couple of years because of odor complaints related to its in-vessel waste treatment process. The company handles about a quarter (16,000 tonnes annually) of the recyclable organics of its only client, the City of Toronto.
However, the judge gave the company a 90-day grace period before the closure takes effect in order to come into compliance. The temporary shutdown begins on December 30 unless the company proves during the 90-day grace period that it can meet certain conditions; then it will be allowed to remain open. If the plant managers can bring emissions in line with provincial guidelines by the end of the grace period, they’ll be able to go back to court and ask Justice Bryant to suspend or discharge his closure order.
During the grace period the company will remain open and will continue to work on its odor-control measures, but will have to comply with certain conditions, such as limiting its daily compost intake to 10 truckloads.
For its part, Halton Recycling is confident that it can meet the challenge, having already made an investment of more than 8 millions dollars in new equipment and processes. On October 2, Halton Recycling issued its own press release, which we reproduce in full below:
October 2, 2006: For Immediate Release
(Halton Recycling has reviewed the recent decision of Mr. Justice Bryant of the Central East Region, and has made the following statement.)
Halton Recycling Ltd. (HRL) is concerned about the recent Court decision that imposes a number of conditions on composting operations of the company. HRL is very aware of the critical need for continued progress in Ontario for waste diversion in general and organics composting in particular.
Halton Recycling Ltd. has, as recognized by the Court, the Town, and other agencies, made major progress in reducing odour emissions at the Newmarket facility, especially in the last 12 months.
The company is committed to rapidly moving ahead with implementation of its remedial action plan (RAP), as directed by the Ministry of Environment.
The company looks forward to working cooperatively with the Town of Newmarket and the Ministry of Environment over the next 90 days to ensure that these improvements are made promptly and successfully.
Halton Recycling Ltd. is one of Canada’s leading companies specializing in waste diversion. In 2004 the company purchased the existing composting facility in Newmarket, Ontario. Halton Recycling Ltd. has since invested more than $8 million dollars in improvements to this plant. The company will continue to make all of the investments needed to ensure that this facility is viewed with pride by Newmarket residents and that it continues to assist Ontario in meeting critical waste diversion goals. HRL is committed to success.
For further information contact:
Mr. Noel Moya General Manager (905) 868-8224 Ext. 308
Additional background information, including a copy of the updated Remedial Action Plan (RAP) can be found at the HRL website: www.hrl.ca