London mayor doesn’t like Toronto’s garbage (but then again, who does?)
The newish mayor of London, Ontario, Joe Fontana, has a bone to pick with Rob Ford. He is upset that trucks pass through his city in order to ferry garbage from Toronto to the Green Lane Landfill, the new London-area destination for T.O.’s rubbish. He’d like to speak to Ford about cutting some kind of deal to stop the garbage, but his suggested fix is likely to be just as controversial: light it on fire.
We’ll let the London Free Press explain:
Joe Fontana says he’ll contact Mayor Rob Ford to propose teaming up on a trash-to-energy plan at Green Lane landfill, where as of last week Toronto began sending its garbage.
Beyond any environmental benefits, Fontana is partly motivated by a concern Toronto may view London — not far from its new garbage dump — as a trash bin.
“(We) could turn it into a joint effort on renewable energy,” Fontana said during the weekend as the first trucks of Toronto trash started arriving at Green Lane. “Turn it into a positive.”
For readers who aren’t hip to the lingo, “trash-to-energy” is the latest rebranding effort for incineration. Fontana is the chair of GPEC Global, which sells incineration technology. Why the mayor thinks that building an incinerator in his backyard is going to be any prettier than the landfill Toronto already owns is anyone’s guess. This is why it’s always so silly for Toronto columnists to write that, when it comes to landfill, Ontario has plenty of space. (That link goes to an old Marcus Gee column, but he’s hardly alone.) There are plenty of people around, too, and they don’t fancy living next to our garbage.
That said, some of Toronto’s conservatives have a history of supporting various “waste-to-energy” ideas, at least in theory. Back in 2007, Denzil Minnan-Wong lamented that Toronto was falling behind other cities by not investigating new technologies, and Minnan-Wong is pretty influential on the new council. Does that mean Fontana has a shot here? We still wouldn’t bet on it.
2 thoughts on “London mayor doesn’t like Toronto’s garbage (but then again, who does?)”
Seriously, why not examine waste-to-energy incinerators? The technology has evolved greatly and there are many successful examples to follow, notably in Sweden and Germany. The knee-jerk rejection of incineration is simply dumb.
(That said, I agree that Fontana as chair of GPEC Global is something to be wary of)
Good article! Burning trash in the London area would only shift the dumping from the ground to the sky. If Fontana is really serious about pursuing a renewable energy initiative with Toronto to solve landfill issues he should focus on organic waste.
Every year London tosses over 36,000 tonnes of organic waste in their landfill because they still don’t have a Green Bin program. Toronto continues to landfill organics from high-rise buildings because there isn’t enough processing capacity in Ontario yet. If the two cities partnered on an anaerobic digestion facility for organics, both would save money, increase waste diversion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and produce two valuable products (biogas for energy and compost for gardens).
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