Bill Enouy, the current mayor of Kirkland Lake, says the small northern town is a willing host to Toronto’s garbage. (Former mayor Richard Denton opposes the deal.) In the final form of its negotiated proposal, Rail*Cycle*North would have taken all of the city’s post-recycling garbage at a cost of $51.02 per tonne. The site could have received a million tonnes per year with no minimum.
However, opponents said the plan was both figuratively and literally full of holes. Geologist Larry Jensen released technical reports that warn of deep cracks in the bedrock walls of the Adam’s Mine, suggesting that leachate could make its way into groundwater. Concern was expressed that the leak detection system might not be as effective in fractured limestone as in a conventional landfill liner.
The raucous weeklong debate at Toronto council was frequently disrupted by hundreds of northern protesters who at one point staged a blockade of northern rail lines. Although the project was approved under the Environmental Assessment Act in 1998, the protesters noted that the decision of the three-person EA Board was not unanimous. They circulated the opinion of the dissenting Board member, which they said was cause for concern. (The document is posted at our web site: www.solidwastemag.com)