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City dumps on plan to double waste at local site

Maple station, scene of 2004 fire near homes, should not be expanded, council tells province

An application to the provincial environment ministry to let a Maple transfer station increase the amount of waste it handles met with unanimous disapproval at city council Monday.

Councillors voted to send the ministry a strong message regarding opposing a loosening of the 61 regulations placed on the station at 10525 Keele St. — across the street from a residential neighbourhood.

On Aug. 31, the site’s operator, Waste Excellence Corporation, requested that the ministry amend its certificate of approval, prompting the ministry to ask Vaughan for comment.

A fire at the site in 2004 burned for a week, forcing nearby residents to remain indoors with their windows shut. Following the blaze, investigators discovered that then owner 310 Waste was operating the facility well beyond capacity.

In 2006, the ministry reinstated the certificate, allowing Waste Excellence to reopen the transfer station.

“This is absolutely absurd,” Ward 1 Councillor Peter Meffe said in a phone interview prior to the council session. “This site caused an evacuation of the local area and I’m certainly not happy about it.

“I’m not supportive of seeing this sort of operation continue in the middle of a community.”

The proposed changes would mean a doubling in the amount of waste processed at the site.

Despite the increase, a company spokesperson said local residents would actually benefit from a decrease in truck traffic.

“(More) will go on rail and will take the traffic away,” Mike Ruttiglino of Waste Excellence Corporation said. “That’s what I understand; that’s the goal.

“It’s a benefit for everybody.”

Meffe discounted the positives, saying he worries the company will increase its rail use at night.

“You’re going to reduce the trucks during the day and increase rumbling of train tracks and whistle blowing during the night,” Meffe said. “How does that satisfy my community?

“It’s a bunch of nonsense.”

Vaughan Today
In print: Friday, October 26, 2007
Page: 1
Byline: Philip Alves