Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. garbage plan closes dumps, sets targets

Newfoundland and Labrador will close dozens of landfills and spend $200 million to reach a target of cutting in half the amount of garbage heading to landfills in the next eight years.

Recycling encouraged, but not mandatory, in long-range plan

The Newfoundland and Labrador government will close dozens of landfills and spend $200 million to reach a target of cutting in half the amount of garbage heading to landfills in the next eight years.

The Robin Hood Bay landfill north of St. John's will serve most eastern Newfoundland communities. ((CBC))
The plan— which does not include a mandatory recycling component— will emphasize three "super-dumps" on the island, with only about 40 smaller landfills remaining open by 2020.

About 160 dumps will close over the next 13 years, and the same tipping fees— the charges levied for using a dump— will be applied to all users. Those feeswill filter down to individual households at a cost of about $4 per month.

"I think the key to it is getting people to buy into it. Will you get everybody to buy into it? Not likely," Environment Minister Clyde Jackman admitted Tuesday while unveiling the plan.

"But you hope that you will certainly get the majority, and I think we're at a stage in this province where we will get the majority."

The three major landfills will be based at the Robin Hood Bay dump, north of St. John's, at Norris Arm in central Newfoundland, and an undetermined location near Corner Brook, on Newfoundland's west coast.

Environment Minister Clyde Jackman says he is confident that ordinary consumers will buy in to a new waste-reduction plan. ((CBC))
The plan will also phase out garbage incinerators by 2012.

The plan resembles a similar strategy developed by the former Liberal government.

Municipal Affairs Minister Jack Byrne said this plan is different if only because the current government has committed significant funds to ensure it happens.

"We have the money available to do this project. That's why you're going to see it move ahead," Byrne said.

"I have no doubts, whatsoever."

Local incentives offered for recycling

While the plan to cut weekly garbage dumping in half in less than a generation is ambitious, it will not enforce recycling.

Byrne and Jackman said that will be controlled at the local level, where a series of local authorities can set their own policies.

However, communities will be offered incentives to recycle, such asa discount on tipping fees forcommunities that separate recyclables before sending off their trash.

"Those are the types of things that you can expect," Jackman said.

"If we are going to get into full waste diversion, I mean, that's where we need to move to and I think people are ready to go there."