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More mis-information on Megadump from LDC
By Raye Thomas, Ph.D., P.Eng.

The Editor, 

            More mis-information on Megadump from LDC

We have read in detail LDC’s insert in the Low Down, labeled “The Facts”.

The newsletter is slick and clearly cost considerable money to put out.  Despite this, it is filled with errors and misleading statements, either deliberate or an attempt to paint a potential blight on the Danford landscape as a project that can save Danford.  

A picture of an apple core on the front page of the document is an attempt to depict the garbage that will be in the megadump as benign.  Of course an apple core is benign, and most people eating an apple would automatically put it into a compost bin. We don’t need a large landfill site for apple cores.   

The statistics of 250,000 tonnes of residual waste currently generated in the Outaouais may well be correct.  However the pressure is on to recycle and reduce. So the planning of a megadump to take this amount of residual garbage a year is pre-mature.  A far better strategy for the region is to take positive action everywhere to dramatically reduce the amount of waste and then plan for the state-of-the-art technology to take care of the remainder.  Planning on the base of a mega-landfill site is not forward thinking; moreover, the landfill technology proposed by LDC is 1980s technology not suitable for the 21st century. We refer you to our web site www.savedanford.com for a description of a true 21st century residual waste treatment technology. 

We do not argue with the premise that a regional solution must be found for the Outaouais, or at least for all of Pontiac County.  Burning of garbage in open trenches is not appropriate and the Government of Quebec is rightfully putting a stop to this.  However, we would argue that a megadump located on sandy soil within a stone’s throw of the Picanoc River and numerous lakes in an area best suited for an increase in eco-tourism is potentially far more harmful to the environment than 50 small trench landfills affecting only a small area around each, no matter how well “engineered” the mega landfill site is. 

The potential economic benefits (royalties and a few jobs) to be realized by the community are woefully inadequate for the risks the Alleyn and Cawood municipality is being asked to take, particularly since the existing revenue base will erode by the very presence of the dump.  Property values will decrease, hence the tax base, and tourist activity will decrease reducing revenues.  Even Mount O’Brien will be degraded as a tourist attraction being next to a visible and smelly mountain of garbage.  

The municipality will be the beneficiary of problems when LDC leaves, either early on or after 30 years, and the Municipality becomes the owners of the site.  When a problem develops and the lawsuits start, the $17-20 million trust fund referred to will be far too small and the Municipality and the Council in place at that time will be legally liable and headed for Bankruptcy.  

Will LDC be there for the long haul?  We doubt it, since LDC asks what will happen if the landfill site is sold.  A new operator may assume any legally binding obligations, but what about all the other unenforceable agreements arranged on the side?  Beware the man bearing gifts, but with no solid commitment to the community.  Alleyn and Cawood will be destroyed and future generations left to clean up the mess.  

Raye Thomas, Ph.D., P.Eng. 
Treasurer, 
Coalition Against the Danford MegaDump

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