Let’s stop this crappy idea in its tracks

BurnBabyBurnThe dirty secret is out, the County, as suspected by many, is talking to the REM people about using their incinerator (and we will refer to the facility as nothing else, because that’s what it is even if the REM people try to dress it up) as the ‘magic bullet’ that will magically pull their filthy rabbit from the hat. The BR wrote about the problems that the County (here) is facing if they do not get an extension for the Brighton landfill site in 2016 here. We also suggested that the fat cats in the County waste management get off their arses and get moving on the composting solution that would remove 40% of the waste stream from landfill, thereby extending the life of the remaining capacity.

It is no news to the BR that the County has been giving quiet support to REM. The writing was on the wall when the County hired new members of the waste management office right away from Durham Region, that department was developing the super burner in Clarington.

burningThanks to Valerie MacDonald of Northumberland Today for digging out this nugget of a story. As she must realise what this revelation has done is to take this story beyond the grubby debate on the pages  of “Port Hope Politics” and the endless go-arounds at Port Hope Council and expanded it into the County-wide discussion.

But back to the nuts and bolts of the story – you cannot polish this turd or even put any more lipstick on this pig – gasification is not a benign process that uses high heat to dissolve trash and where the waste products magically go ‘poof’ into the environment. Gasification is Incineration. Emissions are toxic and deadly and cannot be hidden or destroyed. Elementary School physics taught us that matter  cannot be destroyed only changed and this case high heat does not destroy the toxins – dioxins or furans. We have not perfected any technology that reduces these emissions.

Wikipedia says this about Incineration; “Incineration has a number of outputs such as the ash and the emission to the atmosphere of flue gas. Before the flue gas cleaning system, if installed, the flue gases may contain significant amounts of particulate matterheavy metalsdioxinsfuranssulfur dioxidemethane, and hydrochloric acid. If plants have inadequate controls, these outputs may add a significant pollution component to stack emissions. In a study from 1997, Delaware Solid Waste Authority found that, for same amount of produced energy, incineration plants emitted fewer particles, hydrocarbons and less SO2, HCl, CO and NOx than coal-fired power plants, but more than natural gas–fired power plants.[14] According to Germany’s Ministry of the Environment, waste incinerators reduce the amount of some atmospheric pollutants by substituting power produced by coal-fired plants with power from waste-fired plants.[15]

If this process is allowed to go forward it will only be because the emission standards have not kept pace with this unproven technology. There is not one operation like the one proposed for Wsleyville that is working in the World today. Even the unit in Poland, that was visited by  a Port Hope politician on a ‘sponsored junket’ was of a different design.

So in conclusion we set out our arguments once again for the fast-tracking of a Northumberlan composting plant – if the shinyarses at the County want to see what one looks like we suggest they jump in their cars and whiz down the 401 on their mileage allowances and nip into the Disco Rd facility in Toronto (read about it here). At a cost of 74 million dollars this facility will seem like a bargain when full cost accounting of waste is applied to it. For instance when calculating the cost of a ton of garbage across the gate what costs are included.

“The Disco Road plant helps Toronto increase its processing capacity by up to 75,000 tonnes per year.” A quote is pulled from the article cited and is used to demonstrate that we can do it if the will is there.

Composting is the magic bullet not an unproven idea from a barely existent Company with no history or record of what they are proposing.

Finally something interesting to write about.

These pages have been a bit bare the last couple of weeks, as I was saying to my coffee pal this morning, what else can be said about the state of politics, that hasn’t been said ten times before. The latest (that word is a misnomer  as the latest is just a regurgitation of previous crap) word in the political realm is not that – just stale and how many times does one want to even think about it less write about it and give the events gravitas.

But this week it has changed with two stealth candidates for Cobourg Council. Obviously inexperienced in politics or just stupid; there are better ways to announce ones candidacy than a leak from a keen observer – Cobourg News (read it here). At least the announcement rates a press release. Or did these candidates intend to overwhelm the voters with the fact that they have submitted papers to run.

We refer to the man who got the lowest amount of votes last election and has worked very hard not to disclose any opinion about the running of the Town of Cobourg in the last three and half years. Councillor Larry Sherwin has decided to run again. We just hope he follows through with his declaration of the present term – “I don’t say much but when I discover how things work I will be saying more” – we paraphrase.

johnleeThe other candidate to have quietly submitted papers is local developer John Lee. Famous for a couple of things – one is buying up downtown property and cleaning it up and also getting involved in a “Seniors’ punchup”  read about it here with another local character a couple of years back in the Council Chamber.

John obviously intends to have a web site, having registered a domain name, problem is that the site is not ready yet as evidenced by the screen shot on the left.

So we at the BR wish both candidates good luck but advise them both to be more forthcoming about what they stand for and how they will go about impressing us voters and proving themselves to be worthy candidates.

Another wasted opportunity

landfillIn Northumberland County, when one looks at its activities over the past thirty years, one will find that the major expenditure of time and effort has been that of ‘waste management’. From the 90s where the work was spent in building the MRF, and attempting to site new landfills over the objections of landowners and assuming old municipal landfill sites as well as consolidating the two remaining landfill sites to the effort every decade or so where the hunt for a solution to the ‘garbage woes’ was eternal. It seems as the neverending problem of ‘waste’ will never go away, in fact just like the creepy-crawly balls on Bubblewitch, the topic if not dealt with will overtake us and we will be buried in the stuff.

Tucked away in the latest report (here), that was adopted by Council this week, is a doomsday scenario. If the County cannot get an extension to the Brighton Landfill’s operating certificate then the County will be forking out piles of money just to cope. But there are alternatives and they are also outlined as recommendations.

As avid readers of this online publication will know we at the BR have taken the County to task for not implementing organic composting/green bin collection. If implemented this would remove 40% of the waste from the landfill operations, as organics compose 40% of the waste stream. The ability to save 40% of the landfill capacity should be considered as an imperative – Do it now. But in typical bureaucratic language the situation is addressed but with little apparent urgency.

Recommendation A7 is reproduced on the left and a couple of suggestions are in it. One would be to offer backyard composters at a subsidised rate – wrong they should be installed at County expense to willing home-owners with a view to making them mandatory in a couple of years, and the suggestion to take 1-3 years to develop a collection strategy should be tossed. We have an emergency here folks and it must be addressed as such.

In closing we must congratulate the County for including the issue of organics disposal in the Master Plan, they have consistently ignored the idea in previous plans and dismissed the solutions as “expensive”. Well it is expensive to handle the organics but in the face of a looming disaster – the imminent closing of the landfill if approval to extend is not granted, we must face up to it.

We now have two dogparks

dogs Here at the BR we have never given out opinions about the dogpark issue. We have complained about the time it has taken to solve – a whopping three and a half years, we have dissed one of the proposed locations and have consistently pushed for it to be located on Town owned lands for obvious cost reasons.

With the announcement that the Town will lease acres of useless space (to the owner) for $18,000 a year and spend additional thousands to get it ready we have criticised. But it is now a reality come Monday. So what will the end result be? Dog owners now have a choice, take their dogs to James Cockburn Park (JCP) and keep them on their leashes or take them down the road to Ontario St, the other side of the creek and let them loose.

What we at the BR now will point out is that a very vocal minority of taxpayers has been catered to at full public expense. Compare this to Port Hope where a group of dogowners has banded together to get a dogpark and they are fundraising for one. If that is a hint that if dogowners should kick in a bit to pay for their facilities it should be. If dogowners want to disregard the established rules – keep dogs on leash then they should be prepared to pay for the privilege. The new offleash dogpark should be user pay, after all it won’t come cheap.

Have your say


Have your say against the (un)Fair Elections Act
Place: Rick Norlock’s Office
When: 12 noon Tuesday March 25th


It’s about time

ombMonday evening, swathed in secrecy, the Cobourg Council will be meeting in the back room behind closed doors to listen to the Town’s Solicitor and be led into formulating a position to take to the OMB hearing on May 26th.

It’s been a long time

Since the last post.

The reason for that is simple, I do not like repeating myself. The condemnation of Rob Ford’s disgraceful refusal to resign or the Harper Governments appalling abuse of power in ramming the (Un)Fair Elections Act through Parliament,

Time for a change

geezer partyBecause of the wonders of this interwebthingy I can still be in the world but not of it. I can keep in touch electronically and still participate no matter where I am in the world

That didn’t take long

hendersonWithin hours of the incumbent Deputy Mayor announcing his decision not to run in the next election Councillor Henderson made it known he wants the job. Nothing wrong with that but the speed of the announcement indicated one of two things.

A wonderful Presentation

Richard_PopeIt’s not often that when one goes to Council that one finds a presentation riveting enough to listen to and one that makes the Council being addressed wake up and realise that they had better do what the presenter says.

Who would want this job?

coa_thumbIn a stunning move the Township of Hamilton – you know that collection of homes and farms on the top of Cobourg that doesn’t want to raise taxes but still accumulates high price help – new fulltime Fire Chief etc.,