Stephenville Mayor Tom O’Brien has taken offence to a recent statement by Bay St. George Waste Management Committee chair Peter Fenwick, who said the province’s waste management strategy was halted for lack of funding.
The article, “Waste reduction plan underway in Bay St. George,” was published Oct. 17 in The Western Star.
O’Brien said he attended a meeting in Kippens on Oct. 15, which was also attended by Don Downer of the Western Regional Service Board. O’Brien said Downer gave an update on the implementation of the regional waste management plan and said the board is now finishing off the contract to build six transfer stations in western Newfoundland.
The total cost of the stations is nearly $40 million, said O’Brien, with one to be located in St. George’s to service the Bay St. George region.
O’Brien said that contract is expected to be awarded next week, with site preparation expected to start this fall. Construction will begin in 2016, bringing the transfer stations on stream in 2016 and 2017.
“To me, that doesn’t fit into the category of halted,” O’Brien said at the regular meeting of Stephenville council Thursday. He added that, during 2017 and 2018, the Western Regional Service Board should have trucks on the road to handle three or four streams of waste at curbside.
O’Brien also took offence to Fenwick’s statement that there had been overpayments on tipping fees over the last few years. The mayor said the $75,000 in extra funds coming back to Bay St. George Waste Management wasn’t because of an overcharge, but from communities agreeing to pay a value they felt safe with until the waste system was ready.
“The fact is that the provincial waste management strategy is not halted, we’re part of it, in tune with it and working with it,” O’Brien said.