Solid Waste & Recycling


Our Top Letters (August 01, 2006)

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Dear Editor

Re: The Cement Kiln Option (June/July 2006)

Your piece on cement kilns is so one-sided it would be funny if the implications for neighbouring communities were not so severe. The bottom line is that lobbying, mile-high piles of paper, newspaper ads and open houses do not qualify as legitimate public process. The law in Ontario requires proponents to tell their side of the story to an independent decision maker at a review tribunal if there is public concern about the project. The Bath LaFarge project has spawned incredible local opposition. The right thing for the company, the industry and the environment ministry to do is to support the call for a legally binding decision making process that will get to the truth.

[I concede that the cover story was a bit one-sided, but that’s why I published the “Blog” opinion column on page 38 “Burning Rubber” by Alaine MacDonald, Ph.D. of Sierra Legal Defence Fund. I suspect you read our internet version and missed this contrarian-perspective article. In any case, I think cement kilns could make more sense for burning certain wastes than purpose-built waste incinerators, since the big infrastructure is already there and burning other fuels. I agree that a legitimate approvals process is needed, but Ontario’s EA process is so broken that I’d like to see it repaired first. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing. — ed.]

Dear Editor

The Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) Annual Meeting effectively terminated the Used Oil Program, and indefinitely deferred the Scrap Tire Program. Minister Broten’s comments on the WEE (waste electronics) program were also noteworthy, but seem to have attracted little attention. Last year, in announcing that electronics products would be designated under the Waste Diversion Act, former Minister Dombrowski noted that this would address “over fifty products.” Minister Broten, on the other hand, announced this year that the focus would be on “computers, printers and cell phones.” So, in effect, WEE will address three products not “over fifty.” Takes a brave minister to admit that progress must be made in small steps.

[I don’t know about small steps. So far there’s…nothing. — ed.]

Dear Editor:

I’m a loyal reader and like your editorials. Read about global warming and conclude that localized effect has cooked your formerly skeptical brain. My theory: Global warming is answer to liberals who prayed for years for way to blame weather on conservatives. Planet warming, yes; has done so alternating with cooling forever. (Al Gore watching tide on beach: “Help! Help! At this rate the continent will be completely flooded in six months… no, wait… Help! Help! At this rate all oceans on earth will disappear in six months… no, wait…”) Once wrote paper on reflectivity of ice sheet and erroneously called it “libido.” This was brought to my attention by very witty colleagues. Should be “albedo.” Although albinos likely reflect heat, too.

All the best,


[As I grow older, I become increasingly bald. This has increased my “albedo” without (fortunately) lowering my “libido”! — ed.]

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