Saturday, January 25, 2014


Yesterday's Woolwich Observer advises us of the need for a new staff position in the engineering department. The title of Steve Kannon's story is "New staff position added as council approves engineering and planning budget". In hindsight what should not have been a surprise is the interesting information that there is a long-time gas collection system having been operated in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment. According to both the engineering department and our CAO Dave Brenneman there is hope that the methane gas collection system can be eventually decommissioned. The word "methane" is not in the article but it is by far the most common and most likely gas being emitted from this site and many other landfill sites.

The big falsehood put out there by municipalities and even the Ministry of the Environment is that methane is a direct result of rotting organic garbage. Organic as in food and vegetable matter. Hence they would have the taxpayers believe that methane is both natural and expected and more importantly solely the result of proper use of a municipal landfill. The truth is a little more complicated and examples abound. The Ottawa St. landfill (ie.McLennan ski hill) is an example in Kitchener. There the methane was so abundant that houses had to be abandoned and Canada Mortgage and Housing had to take possession. What is conveniently ignored is that industry were cheerfully dumping their solid (legally) and liquid (illegally) wastes into the Ottawa landfill plus any others they could get away with. There was a big scandal in the early 90's with the Region of Waterloo's lack of oversight as Varnicolor Chemical cheerfully dumped drums filled with solvents into both the Ottawa and Erb St. landfills, illegally.

Closer to home Bolender Park was a destination for some of Uniroyal Chemical's wastes at one time. Highly unlikely that Varnicolor also didn't take advantage of that opportunity. Just downriver from Bolender Park and Uniroyal (Chemtura) we had Varnicolor's infamous Lot 91. Now here is the smoking gun as far as methane gas being produced by industrial wastes and especially by liquid wastes. Severin Argenton dumped liquid wastes (solvents) en masse into this site. He also buried drums with both liquids and solids in them. He did however have standards. P.C.B.'s were OK but kitchen food wastes were not. There was no dumping of household, municipal type garbage. Yes there were chunks of concrete, steel re-bar and maybe the odd chunk of asphalt but no food waste. In the late 90's testing on Lot 91 was reported in our local papers. Methane gas was at explosive levels and council were advised by experts to never permit any kind of building on this site with a basement. My recollection of the explosive levels of methane gas were in excess of 50 parts per million. There is no methane collection system on this site. As with so much of our industrial pollution the "solution" is just to let it go. There aren't nearby homes or industries as there are closer to Bolender Park. In fact what there is is the former First St. Landfill where the Region's Transfer Station currently is. It's probably a source of methane and more in its' own right.

No comments:

Post a Comment