Residents want Irondale landfill closed
A group of residents who live in the area of the Irondale landfill contend the site violates numerous provincial regulations, and are asking that it be shut down.
Ivor Thompson and a number of his neighbours paid Minden Hills councillors a visit during their May 31 meeting.
“We are here today as a community to express our concerns about the operation and the management of the Irondale landfill site,” Thompson said. “Concerns about this landfill have been expressed to various councils in previous years and nothing has been done.”
Thompson, who’s lived in the area 40 years, told council the group was asking that the dump be closed altogether.
Citing the Ontario Environmental Protection Act, Thompson contended the landfill violates numerous regulations.
“The present operation and location of the dump does not meet environment and legal requirements,” he said.
A number of minimum setbacks, including from public roads, water courses and dwellings, are not being met, Thompson said, showing a photo of the area taken with a drone.
While regulations call for dumping to take place 200 yards from the nearest public road, “in fact, it is only 33 yards,” Thompson said. “It is very visible from the Milburn Road, and the adjacent neighbour’s property.”
While dumping is taking place at least 100 feet from the nearest water course, Thompson said there are two small creeks only eight feet from an active filling area, creeks that eventually feed into the nearby Milburn Wetland Complex. Thompson said he’s also seen plastic floating in the water.
While dumping is to take place 440 yards from the nearest dwelling, Thompson said the nearest home is actually less than 170 yards away from the filling site. He said inadequate covering and compacting that does meet standards mean blowing garbage and odour. He said that covering and compacting is often only performed after area residents complain.
Thompson also pointed out that a number of trees that once provided a visual buffer from a neighbouring property had been cut down. That neighbour visited council earlier in May, after she’d received a notice that landscape work she and her husband were performing to replace the vegetation buffer, including the creation of a pond and berm, was encroaching on municipal property.
Thompson said garbage can often be found along Milburn Road, and provided photographs.
“This is common,” he said. “I’m almost embarrassed to take any friends or people for a walk along the road. It could be a beautiful, scenic drive for people, or walk, but it’s just a mess. There’s tires, microwaves . . . the dump’s not open, people decide that the road is the dump and they just dump their material there.”
Thompson also said that in the mid-1990s, some 6,000 tons of auto waste had been buried on the site.
“There will be a report regarding this coming back to us,” said Mayor Brent Devolin, adding council would consider everything that had been said, and that the municipality would need to consult with the MOECC and Cambium, the company the township hires to do its landfill monitoring.
Devolin noted that water quality and leachate levels are monitored regularly by the company.
Day-to-day operations at Minden Hills’ landfills are contracted out to Highlands Environmental.
Councillor Lisa Schell said she’d like to see a report including water testing activities and how frequently covering is taking place.
“We have some hornet’s nests here,” Devolin said.