Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Normally municipal Councils are adept at avoiding opening cans of worms but Woolwich sure seemed to be on the brink of doing exactly that last evening in Council Chambers. Frank Rattasid of 86 Auto Recyclers Inc. came to Council to obtain authorization for his scrap metal collection and recycling that has been ongoing at his location on Arthur St. for the last year. Mr. Rattasid advised that over 7,000 happy customers had dropped off 3 million pounds of steel. This collection of scrap steel for recycling is of course in addition to the recycling of scrapped cars that he also does.

Once again Council insisted on Frank following "the process" prior to them formally permitting his current environmentally friendly operation. This "process" seems to require a public meeting and expensive environmental studies. This is where things get sticky. Next to the auto recycling facility is the former Bolender landfill. It is flat out known to have a number of problems including methane generation. Other issues include the fact that local industries dumped their hazardous wastes there including Uniroyal Chemical.

It gets worse. Last night Council admitted that this municipal landfill overlapped (overflowed?) on to Mr. Rattasid's property. Various studies have been done on the Bolender landfill indicating that problems exist. To date none have been done on Mr. Rattasid's property. Council also claim that there are two different environmental problems present. The one is methane and the other is hydrocarbons. Apparently the methane is from the landfill over many years and allegedly the hydrocarbons are from the auto wreckers/recycling yard.

O.K. Council you're not in a real good position here. Council's problems are hugely magnified by the fact that municipal dumping occurred off their property and on to Mr. Rattasid's. Woolwich Township have an obvious liability to Mr. Rattasid for both devaluing and contaminating his property. Do you as a Council really want to provoke him by standing strictly on the rules and insisting on some form of environmental assessment that is going to blow up in your own faces?

There is the other small problem as well. You are assuming that the "hydrocarbons" are from the wrecking yard. Well first off what is your definiton and terminology around hydrocarbons? Methane from the landfill is a hydrocarbon. Most of Uniroyal's hazardous wastes are hydrocarbons. These absolutely will include components of gasoline and various oils. Afterall Uniroyal produce additives for lubricants including automotive oils. Your landfill is on Mr. Rattasid's property. Care to tell us exactly which hydrocarbons now on his property are from that property versus from the overlapping Bolender Landfill?

As I said this is a huge can of worms. Yes a cleanup of the Bolender landfill (and adjoining affected properties) should have been done a very long time ago. Care to start that process today Woolwich Council?

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