Near the end of a regular council meeting in Harbour Grace, held on July 26, council came to an agreement to issue a stop work order for the local waste recovery facility located on Incinerator Road.
The decision came about due to some issues the town was having with Eastern Waste Management, who council felt was not properly maintaining the facility.
On Wednesday, Aug. 16, chair of Eastern Waste Management Ed Grant spoke with The Compass about the facility’s future, and what residents can expect for the site.
Grant explained that following the decision to place a stop work order, EWM held a meeting with members of Harbour Grace council to discuss issues relating to the facility.
“The meeting went great, in my opinion,” Grant said. “We got a chance to hear their concerns, and we also got a chance to address some of those issues then and there. We answered questions regarding the state of the facility, and I think we all came to a general agreement that the facility is needed in the area. Closing it down would only hurt the community.”
Grant said that one of the main concerns council had was a pileup of shingles at the site. During previous conversations with The Compass, Grant explained that the shingles were originally part of a roadwork project, wherein the shingles would be used to repair roadways. However, the project did not come to fruition the way EWM had planned, and Grant confirmed that the shingles are a high priority and are being removed in high numbers.
“We’ve made a commitment to council that we’ll be cleaning up the facility as much as possible. A lot of people go there, so there’s a lot being dumped there every week, but there’s also a lot being taken out by us,” said Grant.
Grant added that EWM had concerns of their own as well, which were also brought up and addressed during their meeting with council.
Some of the major concerns they had was the amount of scavenging and looting activity at the facility, which he said was significantly more than other facilities in the province.
In an effort to remedy this issue, EWM will take a much more strict approach to how they handle the facility on Incinerator Road.
“When things get dropped off at that site, we’ll no longer be treating it as someone else’s garbage – it becomes our property,” said Grant. “If anyone enters the facility and takes something, then we’ll consider that stealing, and charge them appropriately. In the same breath, cameras will be on site, and anyone caught on the premises when they shouldn’t be will be charged with trespassing, plain and simple. We won’t be passive about this, there won’t be anyone let off with just a warning. Hopefully that will keep the number of illegal activities there to a minimum.”
In the time between the July 26 council meeting, and EWM’s meeting with council members, a stop work order had not yet been issued, and Grant says that, although he cannot speak for Harbour Grace, he sees such an order as a last resort.
“There are significant benefits to this facility being where it is. A lot of people use it, and without it, I think the community would be a lot messier, a lot dirtier,” explained Grant. “(EWM and council) have agreed to work together, because no one would benefit from the facility being shut down. Things went great, and I think the future of this facility is looking good.”