Hey Dalton, Tim, Andrea, did you get the message? The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has placed an insert in major newspapers across Ontario. I got mine this morning in the Toronto Sun. The Message! (copy of ad can be found at www.amo.on.ca)
1. Canadians produce more waste per capita than anyone else in the developed world
2. 40% OF ONTARIO GARBAGE IS SHIPPED TO THE U.S.
3. Since 1989, 649 of 730 landfills have filled up
4. WE ONLY HAVE 81 LANDFILLS LEFT
Since 1989, I have lived through the ‘political garbage’ that has created this crisis. I provide the details of those fourteen years in my book TRASHED – “How Political Garbage made the United States Canada’s largest dump”. Here’s a summary of why that happened.
In 1989, the Liberal Government of David Peterson had it right – they recognized the crisis in 1989 and were working with the regions to solve the problem. Unfortunately he lost the next election.
In 1990, the NDP Government of Bob Rae gave us Ruth Grier and her ideology and ridiculous idea of siting three huge landfills within the GTA. Mercifully Bob Rae lost that election, but Ontario lost four years in finding a disposal solution, and the crisis continued
In 1995, the Conservative Government of Mike Harris came to power. Scared off by the politics of garbage and, notwithstanding that new landfill approval is a provincial responsibility, Harris downloaded the crisis and called it a “municipal responsibility”. To make matters worse, in 2000, Harris refused to intervene when the City of Toronto screwed up a 20 year contact to send GTA waste to an approved site in Ontario. The result, Harris allowed 100% of Toronto’s garbage to go to Michigan, resulting in an international controversy, and the crisis escalated.
The Conservative Government of Ernie Eves wasn’t around long enough to screw anything up.
In 2004, the Liberal Government of Dalton McGuinty made the crisis worse. The Adams Mine had a valid Certificate of Approval with a capacity of over 23 million tonnes but, when the landfill was moving towards development, McGuinty arbitrarily passed a knee-jerk piece of legislation that revoked the Certificate of Approval. As a result, since 2004, companies in the waste management industry have refused to invest in new landfills in Ontario. Now, as evidenced by AMO’s “HEAP OF TROUBLE” advertisement, WE HAVE A RECOGNIZED, FULL BLOWN CRISIS. While AMO is calling for greater recycling, it will not replace the need for new landfill capacity. Nor will incineration because we are shipping over 4 million tonnes of garbage annually to the USA and the new EFW plant in Durham will only take 140,000 tonnes per year. That’s a drop in the bucket.
However, I guarantee that, in the next provincial election in 2011, neither Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak or Andrea Horwath will have the ‘political will’ to address this crisis – it’s too hot to handle.
TRASHED! How Political Garbage Made the United States Canada’s Largest Dump