Guelph Waste Management Coalition Inc

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Waste system critic hopes Guelph council rejects green bin liners

Scott Tracey, Mercury staff Wed Nov 21 2012

GUELPH—Using the new waste collection carts will get a little less yucky if city councillors next week approve a bylaw amendment which would allow the use of compostable liners inside green carts.

But one outspoken critic is still hopeful council will reject them.

Ken Spira, president of watchdog group Guelph Waste Management Coalition, is concerned the liners will mean more waste in the system and could cause problems with the processing system and end product.

“The bags themselves might not completely break down, but there is also the issue of the plastic packaging that these bags come in,” Spira said. “There will be a big demand for these (compostable) bags which will result in more waste generally.

“It doesn’t really hold true to the low carbon footprint approach to be intentionally introducing new plastic waste to the system,” Spira charged.

Earlier this month, the city received from the province an amendment to the certificate of approval for the new organics processing facility on Dunlop Drive. That amendment allows the use of compostable plastic liners, which had previously been prohibited.

The Ministry of Environment agreed to revisit the prohibition after Ottawa-based composter Orgaworld Canada won an appeal of a similar restriction on its certificate of approval.

This week, the planning and building, engineering and environment committee endorsed a bylaw amendment allowing the compostable liners.

Spira is concerned continuing to use plastic bags of any kind will result in a lower-quality compost at the end of the process. He points to a 2011 staff report expressing concern that compostable products may not completely break down in the composting process, and that it can be difficult to distinguish between compostable and non-compostable plastic bags.

Spira also points to a 2009 position paper issued by the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario. That paper suggests residents and businesses should be discouraged from using biodegradable or compostable plastic packaging or products.

“Increasing numbers of these packaging materials in the Municipal diversion programs can be expected to reduce the efficiency of processing operations and the quality of recovered products,” the paper reads.

However, Erin Mahoney, current chair of the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario, said the position paper was in response to an increasing frequency of “rigid-type” containers being marketed as compostable.

Residents were putting those plant-based containers in their blue boxes believing them to be petroleum-based plastic, and unintentionally contaminating the recyclable stream.

Mahoney, who is the environmental commissioner in York Region, said the purpose of the paper was never to discourage the use of certified compostable bags. York switched to such bags more than a year ago.

Dean Wyman, Guelph’s general manager of solid waste resources, was in a meeting Wednesday and unavailable for an interview. In an email, Wyman noted the compost currently being marketed from the Guelph facility, even with the use of regular non-compostable bags, meets “compost guidelines class A.”

Wyman also wrote the new waste collection trucks are equipped with cameras that allow the operators to monitor what is inside all waste carts, and that compostable bags are generally different colours than non-compostable bags so operators will be able to spot improper bags.

Spira said while the city is “preaching the yuck factor” to support the use of compostable bags, he suspects the true reason for the bylaw amendment is to allow Guelph to import organic waste from other municipalities where such bags are used.

During a recent email exchange, a city staff member wrote to Spira that the city is currently unable to receive organics from other municipalities “due to the fact that there are no other municipalities in the Province of Ontario that are able to send their (organics) for processing because of the current plastic bag restriction.”

That doesn’t sit well with Spira.

“Importing source-separated organics from other centres seems to have crept right up to the top of the list of priorities,” he said. “I can’t see there’s a benefit to Guelph becoming the garbage capital of Ontario.

“It’s not encouraging people to look after their own waste, which is something the city preaches constantly.”

Wyman denied being able to accept waste from other municipalities was the key factor.

“The main driver to amend the (certificate) was to allow Guelph residents the same choice of liners for their green carts as their friends/relatives have in other municipalities,” Wyman wrote.

Councillors will consider the bylaw amendment at their meeting next Monday evening.

stracey@guelphmercury.com

Chris Seto, Mercury staff  Wed Oct 03 2012

GUELPH — The City of Guelph is hunting for more waste materials to process at its recycling facility and has expanded its search to south of the border.

Guelph’s Materials Recovery Facility was permitted to process recyclable material from throughout Ontario when it began operations in 2003. Recently, however, a newly built 100,000-tonne capacity facility in Cambridge has diverted much of the materials from getting to the Guelph plant.

The city recently submitted an application to the Ministry of the Environment requesting permission to take in recyclable material from municipalities in New York and Michigan to fill the void.

Residents living near the Guelph facility on Dunlop Drive received a notification in their mailboxes on Tuesday, informing them of the city’s proposal.

The application to the ministry involves making an amendment to the facility’s current agreement that stipulates which areas it is allowed to collect waste materials from.

“There is only so much recyclable materials in Ontario,” Dean Wyman, the city’s general manager of solid waste resources, said Wednesday. “Competition for that material is fairly fierce.”

Wyman said turning to municipalities in the United States is “just business contingency planning.” With the new Waste Management Inc. plant up and running in Cambridge, he said the city is not yet sure how much material will be redirected there instead of coming to the Guelph facility.

“Just a normal course of business — if you lose a client, we have to go source another client, and we may have found tonnage from New York state,” he said.

Ken Spira, who lives near the facility and is president of Guelph Waste Management Coalition Inc., said taking in materials from outside of the city is a bad idea.

“It does obviously bother me and I think it should bother most of the residents of Guelph that we’re even importing anybody’s waste from outside of the city,” he said Wednesday.

Spira said city staff is not being fair to the taxpayers by bringing the application to the Ministry instead of putting it before city council.

“The process, giving staff the freedom to make amendments to that facility without going through council, is wrong.”

He also said the idea of bringing in waste from the United States goes against the waste diversion principles set out by the Ministry of Environment. The Ministry seeks to reduce the waste we create, reuse the waste we create and recycle the waste we do not reuse.

“This waste didn’t come from us,” Spira said.

He said if the city starts bringing in materials from the United States, this will only add more waste to landfills from residual garbage that could be created.

Wyman said the city is currently waiting for the approval of the ministry before it can begin talks with the American municipalities to see how much waste might be brought to the Guelph facility.

Residents have been given until Oct. 12 to submit their concerns or objections in writing to the Ministry of the Environment, care of Tesfaye Gebrezghi, at 2 St. Clair Ave. W., Floor 12A, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 1L5.

cseto@guelphmercury.com

Guelph Mercury April 27 2012

Scott Tracey

GUELPH – Janet Laird’s ears must have been ringing Thursday night.

One day after firing off a tersely-worded response to a Ministry of Environment report outlining air quality inspections at the city’s organics processing facility, Laird was conspicuously absent from a committee meeting at which the issue was discussed.

And it was clear the city’s executive director of planning and building, engineering and environment was the person with whom members of the public liaison committee most wanted to liaise.

The ministry’s air inspection report was received by the city earlier this month, but just became public this week after Laird finished drafting the city’s response to concerns with the document.

Liaison committee chair Mike Fortin suggested deferring discussion of the two documents until a later meeting.

“There’s a lot of material and we’ve hardly had any time to review it,” Fortin said, calling the documents “technical and contentious” in nature.

But it was clear some members of the committee were much more concerned about the city’s response than the original ministry report.

In her letter to ministry district manager Jane Glassco, Laird took issue with the tone of the report authored by environmental officer Lynnette Armour.

“While we accept your assurance that Ms. Armour intended (the report) to be fair and accurate, we do not believe that this is the result,” Laird wrote to Armour’s boss.

“Fundamentally, the Report does not convey the enormous compliance efforts that have been made, the challenges that had to be overcome, or the positive results that (have) been achieved,” Laird wrote.

The city’s new organics processing plant opened last September on Dunlop Drive. After several odour complaints were received from residents in the area during November the city voluntarily stopped accepting new organic waste as it worked with the ministry and facility operator Wellington Organix to explore and address the cause of the odours.

At Thursday’s meeting, Glassco told the committee the ministry is pleased with the current functioning of the plant, which resumed accepting organics in mid-February.

“The plant is operating well right now and hopefully will continue to do so,” Glassco said.

In her letter, Laird suggested the source of most of the odour complaints have not been verified and that residents should not be encouraged to complain about “faint odours.”

This rubbed Laura Marini the wrong way.

“She’s trying to candy-coat the situation,” the area resident and committee member said. “This goes right back to them making us in the neighbourhood feel like we’re not telling the truth about these odours.

“The bottom line is there were no odour complaints from the day (a previous organics facility) shut down until this one opened, but they’re still playing the card that the source of the odours can’t be confirmed,” Marini said.

“It’s insulting to our intelligence, it really is,” agreed her neighbour, Ken Spira, who is also a committee member.

Laird’s letter alleges the ministry report promotes an “adversarial approach” of not working together with the neighbourhood and “encourages neighbourhood conflict.”

Spira scoffed at that.

“It’s 100 per cent the opposite,” he said. “It’s responses like that from the city that really get under the skin of the neighbourhood.”

The liaison committee voted to request Laird’s presence at a special meeting in about one month’s time to discuss the ministry report and the city’s response to it.

“The primary benefit of that meeting will be to get the city and the neighbourhood on the same page … and an airing of the frustrations on both sides,” Fortin said.

stracey@guelphmercury.com

Rob O’Flanagan, Mercury staff - December 19, 2011

GUELPH — The bugs are getting cold.

As city officials and the designers of Guelph’s new Organic Waste Processing Facility work to fix the operational bugs at the plant, the tiny organisms that make the system work are now at a real risk of being frozen into dormancy.

If that happens, officials said Monday, the plant will have to start from scratch.

That was the word of warning during a three-hour meeting of the public liaison committee struck to oversee mitigation of the odour problems that plagued the early startup phase of the facility.

About 20 people attended the meeting, including members of the Maple Reinders Group Ltd. design team, several city waste management officials, three ministry officials, composting experts and members of the public.

Ken Spira, president of the community action group Guelph Waste Management Coalition and a member of the public liaison committee, stressed throughout the meeting that any action plan must ensure above all else that residents near the plant will not have to deal with odours again.

“We need assurances that we won’t be dealing with ongoing odours,” he said. “We don’t want to have to worry about that ever again.”

Ministry, city and Maple Reinders officials made assurances that odour-free operation is the goal, but that goal can’t be reached until the plant is running at normal levels and the measures of an action plan are tested. And that will have to happen soon or the biofilters in the plant could freeze up.

Theo Van Wely, president of Aim Environmental Group, the Maple Reinders partner running the facility, said there is now an urgency to start receiving organic material — so-called source separated organics.

The city halted shipments of green bag waste to the facility after several odour complaints were received in November. But Van Wely explained that a continuous flow of materials keeps heat levels throughout the composting process at optimal levels. Temperatures are starting to drop as the biological activity in the existing compost material slows down.

Some yard waste material is being added in an effort to maintain heat, he said, but the temperature of the material inside the facility needs to be much higher or organic activity will chill to a halt. If there is a sudden drop in temperatures outside concurrent with the drop in temperatures inside, the result could be a freezing of the plant’s filters.

Such an outcome would render the plant inoperable, and processes would have to essentially start from scratch, likely at a prohibitive cost.

Van Wely said the plant is at “a critical stage.” Current mitigation measures to maintain the heat could be stretched out for another week, but anything beyond that could be very risky.

Members of the public liaison committee agreed that taking in moderate amounts of source separated organics to maintain heat levels was a reasonable step to take.

After hammering out the many details of a draft action plan aimed at getting the plant back into active composting, Janet Laird, Guelph’s director of planning, building, engineering and environment, indicated that officials will be working through the holiday period to address all of the questions and concerns of the public liaison committee and ministry.

Amendments to the draft action plan will be made throughout the week in response to suggestions from Monday night’s meeting, and a date of Jan. 3 was set for receiving final questions on the action plan. Van Wely indicated leaving things until mid-January might be too late.

Maple Reinders and its partners have carried out extensive inspections and enhancements of the plant’s systems. While the source of the odour emissions has not been definitively pinpointed, both the company and the ministry believe that faulty, inaccurate ammonia sensors, and uneven air distribution within the facility, are to blame.

Bill Bardwick, director of the west central region of the Ministry of the Environment, was confident those were the two key issues behind the odour problem.

Dusko Grambozov, project manager for Maple Reinders, said there is no way of knowing how the plant will operate until it is fully operational. He said about 95 per cent of the modifications the company wanted to do in the startup phase have been done, and efforts are being made to find reliable ammonia sensors on the global market.

roflanagan@guelphmercury.com

Guelph Speaks - December 10, 2011
by Gerry Barker

The smells emanating from the new compost plant on Watson Road have oozed into the hallowed halls of city hall. The odour of voodoo financial management pervades as the city released a question and answer (Q and A) statement about the plant.

It is revealing in what the Q and A doesn’t answer as opposed to those provided.

The city acknowledges that the composting odour comes from the new plant. This is different from the first response in which it blamed the nearby Cargill plant for the problem.

The new plant stopped receiving green bag waste November 25 and it is now shipped to a St. Thomas landfill. This cost is stated “about $61 a tonne”. What is left out is the cost of shipping the clear bag garbage to St. Thomas, a practice that has been going on since cancellation of the contract to incinerate the waste in a New York State facility. That cost was $85 a tonne.

It is estimated by city officials that the contractor, Maple Reinders, will take at least six months to fix the odour problem and meet Ministry of Environment specifications. That could be sometime next May provided the repairs are completed.

The city says the cost of processing the green bag waste at the new plant is “about $79 a tonne”.

This is where things get murky.

Not included in that $79 operational estimate is the cost of borrowing the $32 million capital cost, depreciation of the facility, maintenance and insurance. Another fact is the cost of road repairs in the city caused by trucks delivering Waterloo waste to the Watson Road plant.

The interest rate must be included in the cost of operation of the facility. For example, let’s assume the city has borrowed the $32 million at an interest rate of 4%. That is $1,280,000 in interest per year alone not including repayment of principal.

The lifespan of the plant is estimated to be 20 years. If the $32 million debenture borrowed matures in that time frame, the cost of this misadventure is more than $57,600,000. That does not include the $15 million to be spent switching from plastic to green bins.

The city’s Q and A does not reveal the terms of the agreement with Maple Reinders. This contractor controls an outfit named Aim Environmental Group and its subsidiary Wellington Organix.

All three of these entities are getting a piece of the pie. Maple Reinders is designer and contractor to build the facility. Its subsidiary Wellington Organix operates the plant. And Aim Environmental negotiated the $117 price per tonne for the City of Waterloo to send its wet waste to Guelph.

That arrangement includes guaranteeing Waterloo access to two-thirds of the plant capacity.

So the taxpayers of Guelph have financed a wet waste composting plant to provide a service to another municipality that does not cover the real operating costs of the plant.

All liability lies with the taxpayers of Guelph.

If the city is paying $61 a tonne to send green bag waste to a St. Thomas landfill with no maintenance, depreciation or cost of capital affecting the price, one can only conclude the $79 operating cost of the new plant is vastly understated.

This is a project that has been riddled with lies of omission, secrecy, and management bungling. The only solution to clear the air is to hold a judicial enquiry to investigate what happened and expose the expenses of this failed project.

That giant sucking sound is your tax dollars being flushed down the toilet.

Gerry Barker
Guelph Speaks

Vik Kirsch, Mercury staff - December 2, 2011

GUELPH — Odours continue to plague startup of the city’s new municipal composting facility on Dunlop Drive.

The city reported nine odor complaints earlier this month from residents near the east side facility.

On Wednesday, a 10th emerged.

Facility watchdog Ken Spira, who lives in that area, said late Wednesday afternoon he became aware a neighbour on Glenholm Drive detected a stench thought to be emanating from the plant. The facility stopped taking new loads of municipal compost on Nov. 25 after a Ministry of Environment investigation into the first nine complaints – all filed in relation to two days in November. However, processing of material at the plant before Nov. 25 continues.

Spira said Ministry of the Environment officials, as well as officials from Maple Reinders, the compost facility’s designer-builder, arrived at the neighbourhood where the smell was noted shortly after the complaint was made Wedesnday. He said he went there too.

“I did smell the odour,” said Spira, who is president of the Guelph Waste Management Coalition.

He said he wants a speedy remedy to the problem and is stumped at how a composting system billed as a proven technology that “was not going to produce any odours “has done that within weeks of starting up.

City senior communications and issues management co-ordinator Stacey Hare said the municipality is looking into the latest incident and is expected to provide the ministry with its findings by Monday.

Meanwhile, Ward 2 Coun. Ian Findlay on his blog has posted a Nov. 30 letter from city planning and building, engineering and environment executive director Janet Laird to Maple Reinders, which is currently studying its composting system while the city diverts compost to landfill.

The letter states “community confidence in this facility has been shaken.” It reminds Maple Reinders “the City rebuilt this facility specifically to ensure that any odours are not of an intensity or frequency that result in unacceptable impacts on our residents.”

In it, Laird requested the firm “undertake a full and complete review of the air containment system and the odour management system, including but not limited to calibration and confirmation of all monitoring sensors and operating control sensors.”

It directed Maple Reinders to prepare a draft plan for addressing the odour problems for review early next week by the city, ministry and Dillon Consulting Ltd. Dillon Consulting was hired by the City this week to “peer review” Maple Reinders’ work on this file at an estimated cost to the municipality of $16,000, Hare reported.

Hare noted in an email once it’s clear what actions are needed to counter odours “we will be in a better position to provide a more detailed timeline” related to next steps at the plant.

It was unclear Friday whether the ministry would ultimately refer citizen complaints to its investigation and enforcement branch and what that would mean for the city.

In an email Friday, senior spokesperson Jennifer Hall stated her ministry has directed City Hall to create an odour action plan. “The City is complying with our requirements,” she stressed, adding dialogue between the two continues.

Spira said he’s asked to receive a copy of action plan.

He said the problem is intermittent, with the stench appearing most apparent “during strong gusts” of wind sweeping over the facility.

“My opinion? It doesn’t work. Compost stinks. You cannot eliminate odours from compost,” Spira said.

The city, however, has asserted repeatedly the plant’s problems are start-up glitches and this will ultimately be an odour-free operation.

vkirsch@guelphmercury.com

December 2, 2011 - By Jessica Lovell
Guelph Tribune

The city’s organic waste processing facility will remain closed to new waste for at least a few weeks while the plant’s odour management system is thoroughly reviewed.

“We want to make sure that if there are any issues, they are dealt with before we reopen the facility,” said the city’s executive director of planning and environmental services, Janet Laird. The facility stopped accepting new loads of green garbage last Friday after nine complaints about foul smells came in on three separate days in November.

While the Ministry of the Environment has stated that the odour is coming from the new plant, the city does not yet seem ready to own up to it.“The results of the initial review indicated that our facility may be the source of the odour,” said Laird, but a specific source within the plant has not yet been confirmed, she said.

Still, the complaints were not a complete surprise in these early days of the plant’s operation.

“Hiccups or bumps in the road are thoroughly expected,” said Laird.

The facility, which began operating on Sept. 27, is still an active construction site and is technically still in the design and build phase, she said.

Though the facility was touted for its design features meant to prevent the escape of odours, it shouldn’t have been expected to be completely odour-free, said Laird.

“It’s probably unrealistic to expect that any organic waste composting facility would be absolutely odour-free,” she said.

It is designed for “excellent odour control,” and the city expects that there won’t be an adverse impact on the community, she said.

But the plant still hasn’t reached the phase where it has been confirmed to be operating as intended. For this reason, she said, it is the responsibility of its designer, Maple Reinders, to correct any issues.

The company is undertaking a review of the facility’s odour management system – a process that is expected to take several weeks, Laird said.

The city will also be paying a third part to complete a peer review in order to ensure that all the bases have been touched, she said.

She couldn’t say exactly what the city’s costs would be for that review.

As far as costs to send the organic waste to landfill, “there won’t be any costs incurred by the city,” said Laird.

Currently, Guelph’s green bags are being sent to landfill in St. Thomas at a cost of $61 per tonne. The cost of organic processing in Guelph is $79 per tonne, she said.

Guelph’s organics plant was only operating at about two-thirds capacity when the complaints started coming in, and it had been receiving curbside waste from Guelph and Waterloo Region.

It is still operating with the waste that had come through the doors before Nov. 25, but no new waste is coming in. What happens to Waterloo’s waste is between Waterloo and AIM Environmental, the Maple Reinders subsidiary which has holds the contract with Waterloo, said Laird.

Meanwhile, there have been no new complaints about odours around the facility since Nov. 23, she said.

CTV Southwestern Ontario
Thu. Dec. 1 2011 5:57 PM ET

There is a stink being raised in Guelph over the new organic waste facility.
The city has received 10 odour complaints in the last 10 days, and while the facility continues to operate, new waste is being diverted to a landfill.
Residents near the facility have been through this before. They say the old organic waste facility created such an odour, they couldn’t be outside. Now they’re worried this new facility is the same.
“It’s been wafting in some pretty raunchy odours” says Ken Spira, president of the Guelph Waste Management Coalition.
Spira says the coalition was told the new facility had the technology to prevent odours.
“There was a seven-year-old boy playing road hockey with his dad and he said to his dad ‘I can’t stand this smell anymore, I’m going in.’”
Janet Laird, at the City of Guelph, says the organic waste facility is still in the commissioning phase. It opened at the end of September.
“We absolutely expect that we’re going to bump into some issues and concerns that need to be resolved. That’s why we have start-up periods.”
The city has asked Maple Reinder Construction, the company responsible for the facility, to create an action plan to address the complaints.
“We’re doing a throughout review of air containment and odour control systems…and any problems identified, we’re resolving as we find them” says Peter Muller with Maple Reinder.
The city will be bringing in a consultant once the action is finished, to verify its strategy and ensure future odour incidents are dealt with properly.
Spira says they’ll wait in order to breathe deep with a sigh of relief.
“I can probably put up with it more than anybody. But the kids, it’s just sad to see them not being able to play outside.”
The facility will resume service when the action plan is endorsed by the city and the Ministry of the Environment.
 

Why must it be so hard? - by Jessica Lovell - Guelph Tribune - December, 01, 2011

What’s really going on at the new organic waste processing facility? That’s what I wanted to know. And I’m certain I wasn’t the only one looking for answers.

But the struggle to get those answers from the city has been a discouraging one.

I tried not to take it personally. After all, the city’s communications staff doesn’t work for me

But here’s how it played out:

After multiple emails and phone calls to various city folks, on Monday evening I finally heard from the city’s executive director of planning, engineering and environmental services, Janet Laird. It was just as I was going out the door for the night. Well past deadline, and well past the 3 p.m. time that I was told I would hear from her.

Normally, in that situation, I would unbutton my coat and pull out my notebook, but I have a sick kitty at home and I was anxious to tend to it.

I also thought it would be better to get the latest from Laird the following day, so we made plans to speak then – or so I thought.

After a number of emails and phone calls Tuesday, I finally arranged to speak with Laird at the end of the day. But when the time came, I didn’t hear from her. I was told she was still in a meeting, but would email answers to my questions by 9 a.m. Wednesday. When I arrived at the office at 9 a.m., there was no email from Laird to greet me. Instead, my phone was flashing with a message from the city’s communications department telling me that instead of the agreed-upon email, the city would be issuing a news release, which I could expect by 11 a.m.

As I write this, it’s 2:58 p.m. and counting, and still no news release.

As a reporter, I find this situation frustrating. But what bothers me more is the city’s seeming failure to provide answers to the concerns of its citizens.

It was complaints about odours from residents in the area of the organics plant that caused the city to stop accepting waste on Nov. 25. And it was through the Ward 2 blog, not the city’s communications team, that we first learned of the plant’s closure to new waste.

The complaints suggest members of the public would be looking for answers.

I expect they will be asking the same questions I’m asking.

It is understandable that city staff would be more focused on investigating and correcting issues at the waste facility than they would be on talking to the media, but I suggest that, in this case, they’ve made communications too low a priority.

The news release issued late Monday afternoon seemed outdated, leading with a statement that conflicted with comments provided by a Ministry of the

Environment official earlier in the day. And we’re still waiting on an updated release.

Luckily, Laird finally called. However, it should never be this much trouble.

Mercury staff - December 1, 2011

GUELPH — The City of Guelph is taking steps to ensure that foul odours don’t escape the new organic waste facility in the future.

The city and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment received nine odour complaints this month from various residents living southeast of the facility, which was heralded as odour-free when it was officially opened on Sept. 27. The odours were reported following two separate odour events, according to the city.

City officials believe the odour problem was part of the facility’s startup phase and will be remedied.

The city sent out a news release early Wednesday evening stating city personnel are working with the facility’s designer, Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. of Mississauga, “to take every practical step to minimize odours from the facility.”

If improvements to the facility’s systems are required, they will be implemented.

Immediate measures include requiring Maple Reinders to conduct a detailed review of the facility’s air containment and odour management systems in order to identify any improvement that may be needed.

The nearly $33 million facility features leading edge air-filtration, monitoring and processing systems. It replaced a previous facility that closed due to significant odour emission problems.

A consultant hired by the city, Dillon Consulting Limited, will review the Maple Reinders’ action plan, and both the Environment Ministry and a citizen’s advisory group will review the plan. The facility will be subject to ongoing monitoring for odours.

The action plan and its results will be shared with nearby residents and the community, the news release states.

“While we have confidence in the advanced modern technology used at the city’s organic waste facility, the facility is in a startup phase, during which time issues are expected to be encountered and resolved,” Janet Laird, the city’s executive director of planning and building, engineering and environment, said in the release.

“We apologize to residents for the recent unpleasant odours and are committed to working with Maple Reinders and other partners, in consultation with the (Environment) Ministry, to find and address the source of odours.”

The city stopped taking in organic waste last Friday in order for Maple Reinders to conduct a detailed review of the facility’s air containment and odour management systems.

“The facility will not resume receiving organic waste until the city, in consultation with the Ministry and the citizen’s advisory group, is satisfied any issues found have been resolved,” Laird said.

In the interim, the city’s organic waste will be shipped to a landfill site in St. Thomas for disposal.

editor@guelphmercury.com