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Joyce says study of Newfoundland and Labrador’s waste management strategy is needed

Joyce. - Diane Crocker/The Western Star

After 15 years and $150 million spent, Newfoundland and Labrador is going to evaluate the implementation of its waste management strategy.

Eddie Joyce, minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, was at the Western Regional Waste Management office in Corner Brook on Wednesday to announce that the province will be issuing two requests for proposals for professional services to provide an operational and financial analysis of waste management systems in the province and to assess potential solid waste management technologies that will support the goals and objectives of the strategy.

It’s a review that Joyce told the Great Humber Joint Council last June would happen.

After the announcement Joyce said the study is a necessary next step as the province moves to full implementation of the strategy by 2025.

He said members of regional service boards all over the province have brought up concerns over the cost of providing service and the distance that will be involved in moving waste to regional disposal facilities.

He said they have asked if there is a better way to handle waste management, can it be done in a more cost-efficient manner, is there a better way to implement the strategy, and are there new technologies out there or other ways to divert waste?

“This is part of the due diligence that we’re doing,” said Joyce.

But will the study impact work that has already happened, is ongoing or currently in the plan and could it deem some of the money that’s been spent a waste?

Joyce said the province doesn’t want to pre-judge what the findings will be.

He said in some cases work that is ongoing will be needed no matter what happens.

And he used western Newfoundland, where six transfer stations are to become operational in early 2018, as an example.

“No matter what the decision is, no matter how much (waste) you divert, you still need those six transfer stations. They will have to be used anyway.”

Joyce expects to see a quick turnaround on the requests and said the province should have the results in a short amount of time.

Members of the Western Regional Service Board, including new chair Barbara Barter, attended the announcement.

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