WHITBY, ON – The Regions of Durham and York would like to advise residents that the Ontario government, through the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), announced the approval of the Durham/York Residual Waste Study Environmental Assessment (EA), with conditions.

“The Residual Waste Study is the result of more than five years of public consultation, research and examination into the issue of what to do with Durham’s garbage,” said Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer Roger Anderson. “After carefully examining the options, consulting with the public and various experts, we determined an energy-from-waste (EFW) facility was the most reasonable method to deal with residual waste. With the approval of the EA, the province has recognized the need for this facility and that we are committed to the protection of human health and the environment. The EA acknowledges that
our EFW is a viable option for the future of waste management in Ontario.”

“I wish to extend my appreciation to John Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment, and John Gerretsen, former Minister of the Environment, as well as the staff at the MOE for their detailed review and eventual support of the Durham/York Residual Waste Study," said Regional Chair Roger Anderson. "The Minister, and his staff, has put a lot of consideration into this project; working diligently to ensure they made an informed decision. It has been a long process, but with this EA approval, the province has recognized the needs of both Regions and listened to concerns from the public. The province's approval demonstrates
the facility's ability to meet the new A-7 guidelines, while safely operating in our community.”

The EFW facility will be capable of processing post-diversion residual waste—the waste that remains after composting and recycling—recovering materials and energy, and will be sized to meet the Regions’ residual waste processing needs.

“We are pleased that York and Durham’s partnership and commitment to safe and sustainable management of residual waste has resulted in approval of the EA,” said York Region Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Fisch. “Following five years of successful collaboration, approval to develop the EFW facility reinforces both Regions’ commitment to diversion and will strengthen our long-term waste management strategy.”

It is anticipated that the construction of this facility will begin in 2011, with a target operation date of 2014. The EFW facility will be located in the Municipality of Clarington on a 12-hectare parcel, north of the Courtice Water Pollution Control Plant, in The Regional Municipality of Durham.

“It is quite appropriate that such a modern approach to waste management will be built in the heart of Clarington’s Energy Business Park,” explained Regional Councillor Charlie Trim, Chair of the Durham Region Works Committee. “The Energy Park will be a high-tech centre of innovation, fundamental to creating a thriving, knowledge-based economy in Clarington.” 

The EFW will use a thermal mass burn technology, which means that municipal solid waste is fed into a furnace where it is burned at very high temperatures. The waste arriving at the EFW facility will have minimal metal content, due to the various curbside and waste management facility diversion programs offered by the Regions; in addition, any residual metals will be removed from the ash for recycling. The ash is then shipped to landfill or reused in product manufacture. Air emissions will be subject to some of the most stringent
levels in North America and the A-7 guideline which will be administered by the MOE. Guideline A-7: Air Pollution Control, Design and Operation Guidelines for Municipal Waste Thermal Treatment Facilities details the ministry’s limits for air emissions from thermal treatment facilities in Ontario.

The EFW process also includes production of high-pressure steam, which is fed through a turbine generator that produces electricity and/or hot water energy that can be used for district heating in the future. In broad terms, the electricity produced by the facility, when operating at design capacity of 140,000 tonnes per year, is sufficient to power about 10,000 homes, while the district heating produced could heat the equivalent of 2,200 homes.

“For too long, we have trucked our garbage hundreds of kilometres to someone else’s backyard. This is not a sustainable solution,” said Cliff Curtis, Durham Region Commissioner of Works. “This energy-fromwaste facility will release less greenhouse gas over its lifetime than our current long-haul disposal practice. The MOE has imposed extremely strict limits on our air emissions, but we can achieve them. This demonstrates the EFW facility will operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

Durham and York Regional Councils approved Covanta Energy Corporation as the preferred vendor in spring 2009, after putting out a request for proposals (RFP) to five pre-qualified vendors who had passed the Request for Qualifications process. Covanta Energy Corporation is an experienced operator in the energy from waste field and is the largest provider of EFW services in North America.

For more information on the Durham/York Residual Waste Study call 905-307-8628 (or toll-free at 1-866-
398-4423), or email info@durhamyorkwaste.ca.

- 30 -

Media inquiries:
Joanne Paquette – Manager, Communications
905-668-7711 ext. 3732 or joanne.paquette@durham.ca

Michelle McEwan – Communications Specialist
905-830-4444 ext. 1209 or michelle.mcewan@york.ca
Cell: 905-251-6412