Work will start this summer in Collingwood capping a former incinerator site in the west end of town, according to Rob McCullough, Simcoe County’s manager of environmental services. The property became an issue during the last election when questions arose about whether the county had a closure plan for the site, which ceased operation in the late 1980s. The site was never officially "closed" in terms of the understanding of the province’s environment ministry.
The county has submitted a closure plan that has been accepted by the ministry, but the county is still trying to negotiate with three neighbours of the property over garbage on neighbouring land. The county will nevertheless fence off and cap the site in the summer. Land immediately beside the Georgian Trail that is part of the property but has not received waste will be left open for passive recreational use.
At a council meeting McCullough also touched on the future of Site 42 — the property beside the Collingwood Regional Airport slated for a landfill. Existing landfills in the county, notably the Nottawasaga landfill, are quickly reaching capacity. McCullough cautioned that the time has come for new sites, such as Site 42, and Site 41 near Elmvale, to open, or for the county to look at alternatives.
The county has already implemented a county-wide two-bag system, and has a pilot project in Adjala-Tosorontio wherein residents sort garbage into four containers: one for organic waste, one for plastics and cans, another for paper products, and one for residual waste. The project has generated a 50 per cent diversion rate.
The Town of Collingwood has a diversion rate of about 24 per cent, which is average for the rest of the county. A new waste collection contract for the area with Mid-Ontario Disposal allows for implementation to program similar to the pilot project in Adjala-Tosorontio. However, the county doesn’t yet have the capacity to process recyclables and compost at the level that would generated.