County Council to make a decision about inclusion in study later this month

Ward Two in Port Hope: In or out of curbside pickup?

Article by Valerie MacDonald

Northumberland County may not jump into an investigation of obtaining energy from waste with its neighbouring municipalities.

Northumberland County’s public works committee is recommending County Council decline a recent invitation from Peterborough representatives to join a committee looking into a proposal to generate energy from the incineration of garbage.

While Deputy Warden and Cramahe Mayor Mandy Martin said the County should look at innovative solutions to the local shortage of landfill space, Warden and Trent Hills Mayor Bob Crate and committee chair and Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander took the opposing view.

“I think we need to investigate alternatives now,” Martin said during the March 1 meeting. Ostrander and Crate support the County’s staff view that taking part would be duplicating the County’s upcoming Environmental Assessment (EA) process being undertaken into all waste handling methods.

Staffer Adam McCue said being part of the Peterborough-led initiative could be viewed as conflicting with the EA review.

Martin maintained the County could be missing an opportunity to handle its own waste rather than, through the EA, looking at alternatives that include transporting it elsewhere.

County Council will make the final decision when it meets this month on the 17th of March.

Other committee resolutions coming to Council include a recommendation that the County not undertake another survey of Port Hope rural waste residents to see if they want roadside collection (one was done in 2018 costing about $5,000 to determine 64% didn’t want it). It advises it be left to the Municipality of Port Hope to decide (without another survey) if it wants to work with the County and its collection contractor  “to implement” a plan to do so.

County waste manager McCue said that in the meantime, the rural Ward residents of Port Hope will be changing to the two-stream recycling at the transfer station in the former Hope Township.

The committee is also recommending County staff investigate a recommendation from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance asking that Northumberland support its recommendation that the Ontario Government phase out gas plants by 2030 – as it has done with coal.

Without that happening, the province won’t meet the 30% reduction climate-change target by 2030, The Alliance’s Jack Gibbons told the committee.