Dresden dump land will need to be rezoned for York1’s recycling facility

The entrance to York1's property north of Dresden. The company hopes to run a recycling centre for construction waste there.

A Mississauga company planning to revive the Dresden dump will have to rezone the land its purchased.

That’s according to Ryan Jacques, the director of planning services with Chatham-Kent.
Jan. 31, York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd filed a proposal with the Ministry of the Environment to use and expand the old landfill on Irish School Road one kilometre north of the town and south of Lambton.

About 20 acres of the 85-acre property was approved in the past as a landfill. York1, which has owned the property since 2022, wants to expand that bringing up to 6,000 tonnes of waste a day from construction and demolition sites and soils to be either recycled or landfilled at the site. The operation would run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

George Kirchmair the vice president of Environmental Services for York1 says the property is “unique” in that the Ministry of the Environment gave approval for the site to be used as a landfill and a waste transfer station.

Land registry documents show in 1981, the Ministry of the Environment issued a certificate under the Environmental Protection Act to Dresden Tile Yard. The Independent has yet to verify exactly what that permit allowed the company to do on the site.

By 1987, Dresden Tile Yard transferred the land to the then Town of Dresden. It was then used to landfill the ash from the town’s garbage incinerator according to neighbours.

In 1997, just a week before Chatham-Kent officially became a municipality, The Corporation of The Town of Dresden sold the site to 1230934 Ontario Limited which sold the property to York1 in December 2022.

While Dresden used the site to bury its fly ash, the zoning on the land doesn’t permit a landfill operation.

Ryan Jacques, manager of planning with Chatham-Kent, says “the land is zoned Extractive Industrial (M2), with provisions that allow for aggregate pits, processing of aggregates, asphalt and concrete batching and crushing, and related buildings and storage.”

Spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment, Gary Wheeler, says the MOE sets the standards and policy for landfills and issues approvals for the sites. But the municipality, he says, also has a role to play.

“Land uses are determined by the local municipality, if the proponent wishes to submit a landfill expansion proposal, they will have to meet all current approvals process requirements, including extensive consultation requirements with municipalities and other stakeholders. The ministry provides guidelines for land use planning authorities on how to determine if a site is appropriately zoned for the proposed activity,” Wheeler said.

“Chatham-Kent has not received an application from York1 to amend the Zoning By-law,” says Jacques.

Chatham-Kent officials say they’re taking the issue very seriously. Jacques says it has been his primary focus since York1’s proposal became public. He plans a full update for council at its Feb. 26th meeting.

He’s also meeting with Lambton County officials about the issue which he says will affect both Chatham-Kent and Lambton, which is about one kilometre from the site.

At least one Lambton County municipal politician was in the crowd Saturday at the public meeting in Dresden. Dawn-Euphemia Councillor Mark McGuire lives just two kilometres from the Dresden dump.

“There isn’t a person in here who wants this dump. You’re company is here to make money,” he said. “This is a terrible location for the dump.”

After the meeting, Kirchmair told The Independent York1 has been speaking with the municipality, although could not say when the conversation began. When asked how the Mississauga found the “unique” property formerly used as a landfill and transfer station, Kirchmair said the company was approached by “agents of the former owner.”

Land registry documents show 1230934 Ontario Ltd. sold the land to York1 Environmental Waste Solutions Ltd Dec. 15, 2022 for $2.5 million. That numbered company is owned by Mark Smith, who formerly ran Waste Wood Disposal at the site. Smith did not respond to questions from The Independent.

York1 has scheduled another community meeting for March 1 at the Dresden arena starting at 6 pm.
Residents have until March 16 to voice their concerns online at the Environmental Registry of Ontario at www.ero.ontario.ca.