The City of Ottawa is supporting residents who oppose a planned expansion of the privately owned landfill on Carp Road in west Ottawa.
The company that owns and operates the landfill, Waste Management Inc., presented its environmental assessment to city officials Tuesday.
Waste Management wants to build a new facility called the West Carleton Environmental Centre where it already operates a 36-hectare landfill at 25 metres high. The plan also includes accepting 400,000 tonnes of waste per year for 10 years.
That is an upgrade on the current Carp Rd. dump, which once accepted 400,000 tonnes per year but as it reached capacity, the amount of waste was reduced to 25,000 tonnes per year.
But officials, such as the city's environmental services manager, are worried about the expansion. Dixon Weir said he and his staff want safeguards against bad odours, lowering property values surrounding the landfill and groundwater contamination.
If they do not receive assurances that will happen, officials say they would try to stop the provincial government from reaching an agreement with Waste Management.
Councillor, residents raise a stink
Coun. Shad Qadri, who represents the nearby Stittsville Ward, said he is opposed to the plan, as are his residents.
"In this day and age, with all the technologies we have available, it makes no sense to do land-filling in any form in any community," said Qadri, whose ward's northern boundary is just south of the Carp Rd. landfill.
Resident Harold Moore is lobbying the city to take the residents' side because he believes the province won't stop Waste Management.
"They have to ask the minister to not approve this proposal," Moore said. "It's the fear of the unknown, right? Every time you take a drink of water, you don't know."
The company, whose proposal goes to city council next week, said it would listen to concerns.
"We developed this new approach after listening to the feedback of community member, and we want to continue this dialogue," said Ross Wallace, Waste Management's manager for the new facility.
Excess waste is redirected to facilities in the state of New York. Waste Management's new proposal also includes recycling and composting facilities on the site to help divert waste away from the landfill itself.