Mayor Ford proposes burning trash to generate cash

Mayor Rob Ford wants to lay waste to dumping trash in landfalls, backing an incineration option he says would turn dumptrucks into "truckloads of $100 bills."

Voices support for Toronto to adopt incineration to make energy from waste

Mayor Rob Ford says he supports a waste-burning strategy for diverting garbage from landfills and generating energy.

Mayor Rob Ford wants to lay waste to dumping trash in landfills, backing an incineration option he says would turn dump trucks into "truckloads of $100 bills."

The mayor made the remarks Wednesday after addressing media about the public works and infrastructure committee vote that effectively ends efforts to ban plastic bags in the city.

"Let's move on to this new plan of dealing with our garbage, this waste energy plan," he said, referring to a report that city staff will compile within the next 18 months to explore a comprehensive waste management strategy for the next 30 to 50 years.

"We're definitely behind most cities in this world when it comes to making money on our garbage or turning garbage into money, and I look forward to seeing the report come forward."

Asked if he supported burning refuse, Ford said he was in favour of "some sort of burning methodology."

'Turn that garbage into money'

"You can call it gasification, incineration, I'm not quite sure — the professionals can give us that advice," he said.

Ford added: "When you see truckloads of garbage going down the 401, it's like truckloads of $100 bills, and we have to turn that garbage into money."

He also said that "70 per cent of the world already has some sort of method in place to turn their garbage into energy."

The calls to embrace waste-incineration even before the comprehensive report's arrival had at least one city councillor fuming.

Coun. Janet Davis said the report, which will cost $800,000 to $950,000, is meant to examine a range of technologies and options that might include anything from diverting waste through incineration to composting, though it appears the mayor has pre-emptively made up his mind.

She blasted Ford for making an "irresponsible" and "ill-informed" judgment call without the benefit of 18 months of study.

The city's comprehensive waste management study is expected to be completed by February 2015.