York1’s proposal to the MOE says up to 700 trucks could come and go from Dresden site if approved

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A map included in York1's proposal to the MOE.

Heather Wright/The Independent

York1 Environmental says up to 700 trucks could roll up to the gates of the proposed Dresden Transfer Station. And it wants to take all kinds of waste, including blue box recycling, organic food waste and up to 500 tonnes of asbestos per day.

Those details are contained in a report filed with the Ministry of the Environment as it plans a Regenerative Recycling Facility.

The Mississauga company bought the property on Irish School Road in Dec. 2022 and on Jan. 31, filed an application to revive the dormant facility.

While the bare bones of the proposal are listed on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, The Independent has received a copy of the company’s 388-page proposal which gives more detail about what is in the works.

And what the company is proposing is starkly different than what the land had been used for in the past.

The consultants report records the history of the site. In Nov. 1980, a landfill license was issued, the report says. Residents, including Dave Willson and Sherri Northcott, says the Town of Dresden used the site to bury the ash from the garbage incinerator in use at the time.

Copies of the actual license which would shed light on what was permitted at the time, were not included in the package. However, documentation of the 1992 amendment to the Environmental Compliance Approval were.

Then, Mark Smith – the owner of Waste Wood Disposal – was given approval to process “solid non-hazardous industrial wastes consisting of scrap wood….lumber, tree trunks, tree branches other wood material except plywood or particle board not contaminated by glue, paint or preservatives.”

In March 1998, after the former Town of Dresden sold the site to his numbered company, Smith filed for more changes including to accept “non-hazardous solid waste from the industrial, commercial, institutional and municipal sectors.”

But Waste Wood Disposal was taking in very small qualities of waste even after the change. The Environmental Compliance Approval allowed only 75 tonnes to be brought to the site each day. And only 75 tonnes of waste could be stored at the site. Smith was also limited to operate between 7 am and 9 pm.

And, according to the documentation in York1’s proposal, none of the waste was to be landfilled on site with the regulations saying Smith must “ensure that any residual waste leaving the site is disposed at a waste disposal site that is approved to accept such material.”

York1’s proposal on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, says about 20 acres of the 85-acre property was approved in the past as a landfill. York1, 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, the proposal says, would run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
George Kirchmair, vice president of York1, during a meeting Feb. 10, said the plan is to recycle materials in a “large building.” York1 would then ship out the recycled materials to other companies to use.

The proposal also calls for a 21,527 square foot building at the front of the property, directly across the road from homes, where the waste will be sorted for transfer and stored.

Kirchmair said Feb. 10, the site will serve southern Ontario, but didn’t rule out bringing in waste from the Toronto area to be recycled. He did say doing so would reduce the profitability of the site.

The planning document submitted to the Ministry of the Environment paints a different picture. XCG Consulting says the site “will be servicing the Province of Ontario.”

It will accept waste from residential, industrial, institutional and commercial sectors, including up to 500 tonnes of asbestos a day.

The proposal to the Ministry of the Environment also sheds light on what the recycling facility will look like.

“Wood waste and construction and demolition waste will be processed using shredding grinding and separation equipment to recover recyclable metals and produce alternative low carbon fuels,” the proposal says.

On Feb. 10, York1 officials said it would be likely the transfer station would run during normal business hours. But the consultants report says “many of the infrastructure projects in Ontario require off-hour soil transfer services” so the transfer station should be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The consultants note they would need an exemption from Chatham-Kent’s noise bylaw to operate past 11 pm.

One of the big concerns voiced at the public meeting was the amount of truck traffic the facility would generate. York1 never quantified how many trucks would arrive and leave the site. However the proposal outlines the maximum number of vehicles coming and going.

York1’s proposal says up to 700 trucks, including 150 transports carrying soil, could travel to the site daily, if the company brought in the maximum 6,000 tonnes of waste and soil daily.

A laneway for the trucks, which would include two weigh scales would be to the north of the current site, with homes directly beside it.

York1 says near the weigh scales, there will be enough room to stage 12 transports while they wait for others to unload. According to a map included in the proposal, those weigh scales right now are at the current entrance, right beside and adjacent to homes.

During the public meeting, residents voiced concerns about the prospect of asbestos coming to the site. Kirchmair during that Feb. 10 public meeting, downplayed the amount of asbestos which might arrive at the site.

The proposal says up to 500 tonnes per day packaged in two plastic bags as regulations required, could arrive at the site. There would be two trailers on site for the storage of asbestos waste which would remain closed at all times, except when new asbestos waste is being put inside. It would be stored until the trailer is filled. Then it would be transported to “the appropriate final disposal facility.”

The company plans four storm water ponds to hold water in the event of rain. There is also a leachate pond planned for the east side of the property.

The company said it would monitor the ponds closely and would remove water from the leachate system and transport it to a licensed facility at least once every three years.

The plan also calls for berms along the south, west and north sides of the existing site. The berms – which are to be 80 feet high – to the south would protect the Fourth Concession outlet which drains into Molly’s Creek. It drains into the Sydenham River. Residents have voiced concern that leachate from the site could pollute the Sydenham.

York1 said it plans to consult with the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority about its plan but had not done so when the documents were filed with the ministry.

Meantime, an online petition has generated more than 1,000 signatures against the proposal.

Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad says the municipality is watching the developments closely and plans to comment on the proposal after the March 1 public meeting at the Dresden arena.

Chatham-Kent planning officials will update politicians about the project Feb. 26 during a council meeting.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hello, Do you happen to know what roads the trucks will drive on from the 401 or 402 to the recycling depot just north of Dresden.
    Thankyou in advance for hopefully answering my question.

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