A ultimatum put forward to government by the Labrador Straits Waste Disposal Committee to deal with their overflowing landfill in Forteau by building their own has been withdrawn.

"We're not in a panic situation anymore," council chair Shane Dumaresque told CBC's Labrador Morning.

Dumaresque said he received some funding from the Newfoundland and Labrador government to help deal with the situation after a meeting with leaders, including Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster, at the Nunatukavut annual general assembly last week.

Forteau dump

The dump in Forteau has been overflowing for a number of years and regularly catching on fire. (Submitted)

The Department of Municipal Affairs says it has approved $41,140 to hire a contractor to '"level and bury excess waste at the Crow Head landfill site in Forteau."

"It is anticipated that this may provide for interim management of waste at the site until a longer term solution is found," a statement from the department read.

Forteau Dump

An aerial shot of the Forteau landfill. (Submitted by Forteau Town Council )

Dumaresque said he hopes the high winds and snow forecast for today will deal with the fire that has been smoldering at the landfill.

He said the interim solution should last at least through the spring.

Opposition to plan

Dumaresque said he still opposes the plan the provincial government has to create one regional landfill for the entire south coast and the Straits.

"I think I've shown everybody much more efficiently and a lot more cheaper than what the government was asking us to do," Dumaresque said of his plan to use an existing pit that can sustain the coast for the next 40 to 50 years.  


The Department of Municipal Affairs has approved $41,140 to hire a contractor to "level and bury excess waste at the Crow Head landfill site in Forteau. (CBC)

Municipal Affairs says a temporary alternative landfill site would also have to go through an environmental assessment and be properly engineered in order to be approved.

Not just a Forteau problem 

Other communities have also weighed in with their concerns. For example, Cartwright Mayor Dwight Lethbridge said he thinks there is a need for three landfill sites.

'We're not in a panic situation anymore.' - Shane Dumaresque, council chair

In St. Lewis, the community has taken issue over the proximity of the proposed site, as well as with roadside dumping and the estimated household cost. Deputy Mayor Helen Poole said the average proposed expense could be $250 per year, and would have to be collected by the municipality.

"The one-site model from an environmental perspective and from a financial perspective… is what made the most sense," Dempster said earlier this week, referring to studies that have analyzed one-, two- and three-site models in the region.  

Lisa Dempster

Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster will be meeting with municipal leaders and Provincial Ministers in February to discuss waste management issues in the Labrador Straits. (CBC)

"We have… 16 to 18 dumps, 90 per cent of which are filled to capacity," Dempster said. "We have to address that."

She said a meeting will be held with municipal leaders and the ministers of both Municipal affairs and Environment when the Labrador Combined Councils convene on Feb. 8.

With files from Labrador Morning