Nova Scotia·SYDNEY FLOOD

Cape Breton flood sends 4,000 tonnes of damaged goods to landfill

A specially created section of the municipal landfill in Sydney is now piled high with an untold number of personal and household items destroyed in the Thanksgiving Day flood three weeks ago.

'You're seeing people's entire households out there,' says solid waste manager

The finished basement of this house in Sydney was gutted to the studs after the Thanksgiving Day flood. (Theresa Rowe)

A specially created section of the municipal landfill in Sydney is now piled high with an untold number of personal and household items destroyed in the Thanksgiving Day flood three weeks ago.

The solid waste manager for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Francis Campbell, said in the two weeks that special collection has been available for flood-affected households, 4,000 tonnes of material have been picked up curbside and hauled to the dump.

"You're seeing people's entire households out there," Campbell said.

Crews have visited some houses two or three times, he said, to take away construction and demolition materials.

"I hesitate to call it garbage. People have had to rip their house apart," he said.

By comparison

Campbell said the amount of waste collected after the flood far surpasses the 700 to 800 tonnes of material collected during regular weekly pickup. It's even more than the typical 2,500 tonnes hauled off during CBRM's heavy garbage pickup in the spring, which sees broken household appliances and large furniture put out.

Initially, it was thought that most of the flood-damaged material would come from the section of Sydney where at least 20 homes were inundated, but that proved not to be the case, Campbell said.

"It became apparent quite quickly that all over the municipality, there was flood damage and we've seen it in the last two weeks. There's been material out all over the municipality," he said.

Slowing down

Campbell said the extra collection may not be necessary much longer.

"It's pretty sporadic, but I think a lot of people haven't had a chance to do it yet, to get in there and to take their material out to the curb," he said.

"So, we'll probably scale it back. We may go to a system where people can call in and tell us that they have material, rather than us having 10 or 12 vehicles out there canvassing."

With files from Information Morning Cape Breton

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