The official grand opening of the facility this morning had the usual clutch of dignitaries for such things. This morning featured remarks from Eastern Regional Service Board (ERSB) vice chairperson Harold Mullowney, Terra Nova MHA Colin Holloway, Clarenville Mayor Frazer Russell and ERSB chairperson Ed Grant.
MHA Holloway said the goals of the provincial waste strategy were to reduce the amount of material disposed at local landfills.
“The strategy itself also includes the elimination of open burning and incineration and to phase out unlined landfills and our anticipation is to have full implementation by 2025,” said Holloway.
The Clarenville transfer station will also play a big role in 2017 as the transfer station takes in the communities on on the Bonavista Peninsula, which will service a total of 20,000 people.
“Through an investment of $4.2 million this new project was brought to fruition. As of Jan. 1, 2016, approximately $163 million has been invested province-wide in development of the new waste management services and facilities,” said Holloway.
Clarenville Mayor Frazer Russell said he had concerns when the new provincial waste management strategy was first unveiled.
“However, it appears that the transition to the new approach has been seamless and I congratulate you on that success. The closure of so many landfill sites, the commencement of curb side recycling and safe disposal hazardous waste will have valuable environmental health and economic benefits now, and for future generations,” said the Mayor.
ERSB chairperson Ed Grant said the building and facility overcame many obstacles and appears basic at first glance.
“There’s going to be seven or eight more built in the province, but this one is different. Most of the facilities use a grade differential, a dirty floor system, which requires a bare facility,” said Grant.
“We opted to go with a conveyor system,” said Grant, adding that concept “allows us to maximize our operations to reduce our costs which effects the communities that we serve.”
Grant says they can do compact waste in such a way that a truck can take 30 tonnes of waste and do the job of four trucks at once.
He said this transfer station at Clarenville is the only of its kind in the country and will help reduce costs for the community.
He says the provincial waste management strategy will have a significant environmental impact and more strides will be made within the next five years.
“I think there was a lot of concern about how it would play out, but I think for the most part people found it to be effective and most people have bought into the idea that we can no longer throw waste into the community landfill.”