Letter to the Editor – John Milnes Wants A Garbage Incinerator in Cornwall Ontario – December 19, 2010

Dear Sir:

Mayor Bob Kilger and his merry band of councillors have given the city taxpayers an early Christmas gift, more taxes for the future! The mayor has decided to try and extend the life of the city garbage dump by twenty years but, seemingly, the council as a whole does not have the capacity to plan for the time frame beyond that twenty years.

What is important about the period beyond the twenty years is the fact, from that time on, there comes the scary ongoing costs of past and future garbage disposal.  In that time frame the City of Cornwall will have to develop a new garbage dump and go through all the environmental hoops, at huge cost, to get there. At the same time the taxpayers of tomorrow will commence paying a lifetime cost for maintenance of the defunct garbage dump that serves the taxpayers in our own times.  In other words let the youngsters of tomorrow inherit the costs for today.

The simple answer continues to look city council straight in the eye.  Whilst we have a provincial government that would be supportive of any technology that would generate electricity the council should be setting into motion a means of avoiding putting the costs of today on the shoulders of the coming generations.

Once again I am suggesting city council sets up a committee to examine the feasibility of installing a waste-to-energy plant at the existing garbage dump.  Such a plant could generate vast amounts of cheap electricity, with garbage as the fuel, and it would solve the problem of what to do with the waste stream our society creates.  Garbage from other communities could be handled, charging them tipping fees, and the contents of the existing city garbage dump could be mined as more fuel for the plant.

A waste-to-energy committee [WTEC] would eliminate the need to engage a costly consultant [unless the mayor prefers to pay the fees of a consultant out of his own deep pockets]. As a past consultant in this field of expertise I would volunteer to serve on such a committee, requiring only out-of-pocket expenses.  I feel convinced there are a number of citizens who would make up a committee of this nature and city council could enhance the committee by including Norm Levac, a clear thinking person with whom I have worked in the past.

It is essential the city council gives any new committee, and its own council, lots of front time since last minute decisions tend to give poor results.  The committee should be empowered to hold public meetings to test the efficacy of any recommendation they may arrive at.  Keeping costs down in these times, as well as in the future, demonstates good planning and, as such, would have great public appeal.

John E. Milnes – South Stormont Ontario

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

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  1. This is something that should be looked at seriously. The provincial government does not include this within their waste reduction strategy, do they? That could be a stick point.

    Can the reminants be used for anything? Mixed with?

  2. “Vast amounts of cheap electricity”…..do you actually think that they would sell you electricity any cheaper? The prices are set in stone and nobody will get any reduction! Wake up and smell the coffee!

  3. John
    The waste to energy idea was already presented by myself to one of our energy groups as well as Paul Fitzpatrick and Guy Lauzon. Lauzon seemed to show little interest and no knowledge in the slightest what so ever mentioning that a retired entrepreneur is already looking into it. Fitzpatrick well he is nearing retirement and you can imagine how much help that was.
    I also spoke with CCRI on the topic; they argued that if we do not produce the garbage we do not need the conversion facilities and that by creating conversion facilities we do not encourage reduction of garbage. Although this is a good idea, this does not resolve problem. Also, what do you do in the mean time? During transition we can make money, ensure sound technology is in place and Cornwall can be at the forefront of the green initiative. Lauzon seemed to show little interest and no knowledge in the slightest what so ever mentioning that a retired entrepreneur is already looking into it. Fitzpatrick well he is nearing retirement and you can imagine how much help that was.

    In that meeting was Norm Levac a member of one of the green teams, a representative of one of our engineering companies both presented the same insight or lack thereof. Kennedy was there also and offered the same “You cannot do that anymore” answers. However they are building these all over Europe, near Ottawa, Toronto, and in the New Year Red Deer.

    I think our problem is trusting people with no more up-to-date on technology and insight then their own limited experience, and self-serving interests.

    I have already begun a proposal and plan to visit companies over the next few weeks and will continue to do so into the New Year. We have the potential to be a very wealthy city on the topic of energy and recycling as well as well as a pioneer in implementing green initiative concepts. I think it is time to bring more adept and pro-change companies into the mix. My biggest adversary will be the local politics and the ever present can’t do mentality. Should that be the case there are many other places to consider.

  4. Thank you SMEE. It is encouraging that someone sees there are good alternatives to what we are presently doing.
    In response to Stan. Obviously he does not have any handle on reality. Cornwall already has cheaper electricity costs than the rest of the province because it buys electricty from Quebec.
    Eric. What are the remnants to which you refer? May I assume it is the ash that, although greatly reducing the waste stream volume there is still a residue of ash to be addressed. Since the ash has NO pollutants within its body element and is less in volume than the original garbage then it could be landfilled without the ongoing costs of monitoring. Some political areas have instituted studies of using the ash in road building – Florida is one I am aware of.
    Just a fact to mull over. Toronto has 160 landfill sites that have to be monitored and the annual cost for this is in excess of six billion dollars . Why can they not burn their garbage, including mining the existing dumps – because the Socialist element on Council is against incineration. Socialists have adopted the Paul Connett philosophy without undertaking any scientific analysis.
    The National Incineration & Testing Program surely defines what incineration can or cannot do with respect to pollution.
    The CCRI is completely out to lunch with its concept. Society has always created waste and it will continue to do so into the future,more so with the wasteful practices of the commercial world. This philosophy is about as good as John Jackson’s idea that we should only have one lawnmower for every street and one washer dryer for a street. Beautiful in theory but we have to live in a real world.

  5. A further point to the previous comment. You will notice I made an offer to the City Council – this was a copy of the letter I sent to City Council to which I never even got an acknowledgement of receipt. Beyond this one assumes members of council can read and could have raised the matter at council after reading of the offer in this and other media. What more can one offer when I do not live in the City but show a willingness to share my knowledge and experience at no cost

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