Forteau dump overflowing, catching fire, deputy mayor says

The dump in Forteau is reaching a crisis point—it’s overflowing and frequently catching fire, according to the town’s deputy mayor.
The dump in Forteau frequently catches fire and emits toxic smoke, which sometimes forces residents to leave their homes. (Submitted by Forteau Town Council)

The dump in Forteau is reaching a crisis point — it's overflowing and frequently catching fire, says the town's deputy mayor.

"It's probably at  99 per cent capacity,' said Jim Roberts who is also part of the Labrador Straits Waste Disposal Committee.
The town of Forteau says it will desperately need a new dump by next spring. (Submitted by Forteau Town Council)

"We see garbage flying around town."

The town is close to the Muskrat Falls construction site, and Roberts said contractors are constantly dumping waste into the landfill—sometimes up to 70 truckloads a day.

"Some contractors are probably in and out of there 10 times a day with garbage, so we're filling up really quick," said Roberts.

"Before they started to use it we were very close to capacity. And now it just fills up faster and faster and faster."

People are also frequently lighting fires in the dump, said Roberts, which causes toxic smoke to drift into the town. He said that there have been times when people have had to leave their house because the smoke has been so bad.

We see garbage flying around town.- Jim Roberts

There is no room to expand the dump, and Roberts said both the town and Nalcor will desperately need a new site by spring. 

The town has been asking government for a new landfill for years, and has had to apply for emergency funding to deal with some of the fires.

The dump in Forteau, Labrador, is at capacity and posing major problems for the town's residents, says the deputy mayor. (CBC)

While they have yet to see any concrete action, Roberts said the town is now having discussions with government about of a new dumpsite near Mary's Harbour, which would serve the entire south coast and the Labrador Straits area. 

Roberts said that while he's cautious, he's optimistic there will be a new dump within the next 12 months.

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