Maps will soon be given to Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) policymakers detailing the possible locations for a modern landfill in remote locations. Councilors recently voted to haul 40,600 tonnes of municipal waste to Guysborough County each year for the next 20 years, but that decision could be overturned if a majority of councilors or the mayor calls for a special meeting to reconsider the issue. Some say that the CBRM is poised to rescind the export deal with Guysborough, in part because it means the loss of 30 local jobs, and the perception that the CBRM is not looking after its own waste.
The regional municipality will evaluate options that include short-term arrangements with Guysborough, continued incineration, or payment of provincial fines when the municipality is no longer compliant with new rules governing waste sites.
It could take at least two years to site and construct a landfill if the CBRM decides to build one of its own. Yet the January 1, 2006 deadline to locate a new landfill is too close for Pictou County — or Cape Breton — to seek an alternate plan that meets provincial regulations.
As the Guysborough agreement stands, the current tip fee will jump by $42 to a total of $97. If the CBRM pulls out of the deal, it could cause Guysborough tip fees much higher, since the costs of construction are shared with other municipalities from the Colchester-Pictou County line to Sydney.