About 15 years ago, Orillia city council proposed allowing a privately-owned U.S. company to burn waste, mainly from the City of Toronto, until the proposal was stopped by public opposition.
According to a report by reporter Monique Beech that appeared in Orillia’s The Packet & Times, Orillia council voted last week in favor of allowing a citizen, Ross Goddard, a retired radiator repair shop owner, to make a presentation on incineration, for which no date has been set.
Goddard sees the plant as an entrepreneurial facility, like the well-known Casinorama casino nearby, to attract money from other municipalities, especially Toronto, and from producing and selling energy.
Goddard cites the Algonquin Power waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Brampton where Peel Region pays a total of $100 per tonne — $78 for incineration and $22 to dispose of hazardous fly ash — to burn its garbage. Each year about nine megawatts of power is produced, or enough to keep 6,000 homes lit up.
Critics say that incineration or WTE still leaves waste residue that requires disposal. Of the 173,000 tonnes of garbage the Algonquin plant burned in 2003, about 30 per cent, or 50,000 tonnes, came out as ash and still had to be landfilled, the Toronto Star reported in October 2003. About 1.5 per cent — or 2,600 tonnes of trash burned becomes fly ash, containing toxic cadmium and lead, that must be shipped to a hazardous waste plant near Sarnia, the newspaper reported.
But officials from Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon are considering using 10 per cent of the non-hazardous ash to make asphalt to pave local roads.