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Why the incinerator is doomed to be an albatross

A chart was released by the Works Department at the March Waste Management Advisory Committee (WMAC) meeting which revealed that waste volumes have actually been declining for the last 5+ years and that the Region is already de-emphasizing recycling in order to ensure that there will be sufficient waste to run the incinerator when it fires up in 2014.

Total waste per capita has dropped 14% in 5 years. 

  • 2006 408 Kg
  • 2011 353 Kg

Here is a graph derived from the Region's numbers compared with the numbers in the Deloitte Business Plan prepared for Council in 2008. This business plan (like all business plans) was intended to show Council that the incinerator made good economic sense.

However 4 years later it is clear from the graph that their projections were way off and the rosy predictions of 70% diversion by 2022 were but a pipe dream.

Diversion in 2011 was only 53% while the Deloitte Business Plan projected 60% for last year. The Golder report commissioned by Durham Council in 2009 mapped out in detail with costing how Durham could have achieved 63.7% lasat year.

While it is difficult to draw long term conclusions from 5 years of numbers (2006-11), if you draw a line forward from the real (blue) points to 2022, you find a waste gap of about 150,000 tonnes.

The problem is that the Region has signed a contract to supply a minimum of 100,000 tonnes to the incinerator.

Because Durham has limited itself to only 2 waste options (recycle/compost and burn), if total waste is dropping then a larger and larger percentage will end up in the incinerator and less in the recycle stream. This is exactly opposite to the commitments made during the EA that the incinerator would 'drive' recycling and 'never' cut into it.

We didn't believe them then and we don't believe them now.

Leave to appeal hearing set for July 17

The hearing for Leave to Appeal the Security of Costs decision has been set for July 17 in Oshawa.

In his decision on Dec.  15 (see earlier story below) Justice Lauwers had ruled that DurhamCLEAR had to post a $40,000 security of costs bond towards Covanta's legal bills in order to proceed. This presented an insurmountable barrier.

However, Lauwers also ruled that DurhamCLEAR qualifies as a public interest litigant, and the courts are meant to be accessible to all qualified litigants.

Partial Building Permit issued

A building permit has been issued for an initial portion of the Energy for Waste Incinerator.

In an email, Rick Pigeon, Clarington's Chief Building Official states, "This permit is for a small  part of the main building and is for a footing and foundation for the refuse pit area and tipping area only. The floor area of this part of the project is 1466 square meters in area with a construction value of $2,000,000."

While disappointing, this was not unexpected. Given the glacial pace of our legal action, the pressure on Clarington to 'get on with it' must have been powerful.

This raises the ante somewhat, as the more money invested in the site, the greater the financial downside if (when) the zoning is overturned.


Important Information Meeting

Monday, September 26, 7:00pm
Faith United Church
, Courtice
Nash Rd just E of Courtice Rd

  • Get the latest information on our legal fight
  • Discuss and help organize new initiatives

Many new faces have joined the anti-incinerator fight in the last couple of months. This meeting will provide us an opportunity to bring everybody up to speed with the latest information.

Click HERE to download a flyer which you can print out and post in your neighbourhood - lampposts, grocery stores, etc.

Please tell/invite your friends.

Region hires expensive lawyer

Durham Region has hired one of the most expensive lawyers in Toronto to defend them against our challenge on the zoning of the property.

This is confirmation that our action is on the right track - that our case is strong and theirs is weak.

Tens of thousands of your tax dollars will be used to try to defeat a legitimate and well-founded action by a local community group. Is that what democracy is all about?

Our first court date is still Sept 23 in the Oshawa Courthouse. This will be formalities only - the real action is unlikely to happen before November. We will be able to bring you an update at the public meeting.

Great turnout! Great coverage!

Thanks to all those who came out to demonstrate at the ground-breaking for the incinerator. I think we made our point that the fight is not only not over but stronger than ever. Carola Vyhnak (Toronto Star) told me there were more people on the outside than inside.

If you weren't able to come, then check out the media stories we generated - the best coverage we have ever received. CTV invested huge resources to the story (live satellite transmission plus their helicopter)

With the exception of Metroland (what else would you expect?) all of the stories put the greater emphasis on the opposition and the protest.


Residents angry over garbage plan


Protesters show up at incinerator groundbreaking event in Courtice

Toronto Star

Angry protesters disrupt Durham incinerator groundbreaking

Metroland (This Week, etc.)

Durham breaks ground on controversial incinerator

Oshawa Express

Anger over 'invite-only' decision

CBC (French)

Incinérateur à Clarington : des manifestants perturbent le début des travaux

Join us Tomorrow (Wed) at the Incinerator site

It's important to get lots of people out. I have talked to several media including CBC National News. This is our best opportunity yet for good coverage. 

  • When: Wednesday, Aug 17 10:00am to 2:00 (critical time will be about 10:45 - 12:30 - that will catch all the dignitaries as they arrive and most of them as they leave.
  • Where: Osborne Rd at the entrance of the water treatment plant (access via Solina Rd - Osborne is closed for construction) see parking info below.
  • Bring yourself, bring all your friends
  • Bring signs if you have one or can make one
  • Bring Sunscreen & water bottles - It is supposed t be sunny and warm
  • Have fun!

I visited the site Monday afternoon and here's what's happening.

The Region has levelled and built a site for their tents (one was already erected) just N of the railway tracks across from the water treatment plant. They've also leveled off a parking lot, put in gravel and built an access road off the lane from the water plant. (So how much did all this cost?)

As some have already pointed out, Osborne Rd is closed due to construction (sewers, etc.) so the access to the groundbreaking will be S from the Service Rd on Solina Rd. (1st east of Osborne) and then west on Osborne. They were fixing the potholes while I was there.

Parking close to the site will be a problem for us. There is limited parking along the side of the road but with the rain and fresh gravel, some of the shoulders are soft. For most of us the best place to park will be the parking lots for the playing fields on Solina. From there is is about a half mile walk on gravel (wear appropriate shoes). 

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