Ottawa

Orgaworld faces smelly waste in London

A recyling facility in London, Ont., temporarily closed because of an odour problem, raising concerns Ottawa might face a similar issue if the city begins allowing certain types of waste at its plant.

A recyling facility in London, Ont., temporarily closed because of an odour problem, raising concerns Ottawa might face a similar issue if the city begins allowing certain types of waste at its plant.

Orgaworld has voluntarily shut down operations at its London, Ont., facility while it performs upgrades to deal with a serious odour problem. The plant accepts and disposes of dirty diapers, pet waste and rotting garbage in plastic bags.

"The smell could range anywhere from being a fairly light drifting just obnoxious smell to a rancid smell that just makes you want to gag," London resident Alan Tipping said back in May when asked to describe the odour.

Whether Orgaworld accepts diapers, pet waste and plastic bags has also been an ongoing issue in Ottawa.

Orgaworld, a unit of British-headquartered Shanks Group, is seeking changes to its environmental certificate of approval to allow it to ship that type of waste to Ottawa. The Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal is currently reviewing whether to allow this type of waste.

Ward Janssens, Orgaworld's manager of international operations, said the problems that plagued the London operation won't recur in Ottawa.

"Although of course waste in plastic bags can be more odorous, these type of facilities should be able to deal with it. So it's about process, and it's not about the waste," said Janssens.

But not every one's so confident.

Alta Vista councillor Peter Hume spearheaded Ottawa's green bin program — now he's leading the fight to keep unwanted waste out.

"We're doing everything the right way, and that's why we've been fighting so hard to keep the program like this," Hume said.