Solid Waste & Recycling


Our Top Letters (March 01, 2005)

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Ontario Bill 103 news item

Dear Editor:

It should come as no surprise that the Ontario government is quickly moving to a “guilty-until-proven-innocent” stance with the proposed Bill 103: An amendment to the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act. Anyone who has followed the Liberal government’s shenanigans with the “Adams Lake Act” will recognize that here is a government that can play real dirty with their legislative power whenever their political agenda is threatened. Surely, this was an Act unique in Canadian parliamentary history, designed specifically to stop a single individual (Gordon McGuinty) from proceeding to landfill Toronto’s garbage in an abandoned iron-ore pit, already proven to be ideally suited for the purpose and fully permitted by the Ministry of the Environment. In its place we have hundreds of trucks per day on their way to Michigan along Canada’s busiest highway and already several deaths and serious injuries as a result. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the legal challenge? Where’s the sense of justice in the legal community when this behavior slithers by with barely a whimper of protest?

Those of us performing drinking water analysis under the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act are fully aware that “big brother” is already watching us with fines up to $3.5 million a day for individuals and $5.5 million a day for companies for screwing up. However, we are told we shouldn’t worry, because such fines would only apply under the severest of circumstances and more likely would be a lot less — maybe just 10 per cent, or a measly $350,000 a day! No problem at all for a lab technician making $35,000 a year! It all makes for great politics but there’s a growing sense of serious injustice and trampling of rights.

Dr. George Duncan, president

Accuracy Environmental Laboratories Ltd.,

Kirkland Lake, Ontario

Quebec used-oil stewardship program

(Dec./Jan. 2005 edition)

Dear Editor:

If the used-oil management associations in Canada are so bad, how do you explain the waste-oil-burning industry’s ability to count 10-20 million litres each year in BC? Yup! That much oil is currently being reused for the final time in clean-burning waste oil furnaces, boilers and such and not being counted.

Is it not more important to count all the oil at this point, rather than ignore the fact that it is being burned. Yes I will agree that re-using oil for lubrication is one of the good ways to recycle, but how do you clean up a 50,000 litre spill in 30 below temps along a fish bearing river in central BC ? The risk is too great , just to transport 800 or 1,200 kms for one person to financially benefit from a fuel hungry, dangerous process that only recovers gross 40 per cent of the feedstock. What happened to the Hub Oil Plant in Alberta? KABOOM! and some people died.

Northern BC through Quebec: all these places have the highest heating bills in the world, the highest traffic accidents per capita and will benefit the most from used-oil recycled onsite. Visit to see where it all started — this is still the best use for used oil ever.

Tony Mulder

Prince George, BC

Editorial “Got Milk?” (Dec./Jan. 2005 edition)

Dear Editor:

I saw corn-based food containers and other interesting products — possibly even construction materials — made from corn, at the Royal Winter Fair in November. One of the most intriguing was a new duvet filling. The leader in this field is NatureWorks LLC, a stand-alone company owned by international conglomerate Cargill, the original inventor of polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer derived from natural plant sugars that is used in a broad range of package and fibre applications (as per the Feb. 3 news item on your website).

Susan Filshie, Planner


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