A waste transfer site in Vaughan that experienced two fires will be cleaned up by two private companies. Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has approved a private numbered company to take over from the government and remediate the site near Keele Street and Major Mackenzie Drive just northwest of Toronto.
Waste Excellence Corp., another company, has taken out a second mortgage on the property and will guarantee the operation with a $1.1-million assurance bond that can be used by the government if the cleanup fails. The companies have not sought to take ownership of the site.
The municipal and provincial governments have said they’ll consult with local residents before the transfer station is allowed to operate again. It might not be permitted, or it could be approved with new rigorous controls.
310 Waste Ltd., the site’s previous owner, was charged after a June 2003 inspection revealed 13,000 tonnes of waste was stored there, despite a license that permitted only 1,500 tonnes. Fires broke out in October and November, sending clouds of dark smoke over surrounding homes.
The province has removed 10,000 tonnes of waste since late November at a cost of about $500,000. The remaining 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes of waste has to be reduced to 1,500 tonnes. The new companies will remove 3,000 tonnes of waste each weekly in order to be down to 1,500 tonnes by mid-February.