Ontario’s environment ministry took control of the cleanup of a waste transfer station in Vaughan that erupted into flames twice in a six-week period in October and November. Flames were visible for miles and smoke forced nearby residents to remain indoors and some business to close early. Both blazes lasted for several days. The site operators, 310 Waste Ltd. and a number of associated parties, face charges under the Environmental Protection Act for allegedly surpassing the site’s legally permitted storage capacity under it’s certificate of approval.
The site was approved to hold only 1,500 tonnes, but waste was stockpiled to more than 13,000 tonnes when the first fire broke out in October. Vaughan estimates that the city spent $500,000 to $750,000 fighting that fire, and costs will rise further with the second fire.