Peter Fenwick was having a bad day on Thursday and he was blaming it squarely on Eddie Joyce, minister of municipal affairs and environment.
That’s because of a reply he received from Joyce on a request he had made to have a six-month delay in implementing the current waste management plans for Western region.
Fenwick, as chair of the Bay St. George Waste Management Committee, had asked for an extension on the licence for the landfill sites at St. George’s and Wild Cove and other Western Newfoundland landfill sites, slated to close July 1, 2018.
He had asked that Joyce request the Western Regional Waste Management Board to delay the movement of waste from western Newfoundland to central Newfoundland until all infrastructure needed is in place and up and running, and all other options have been examined. “This delay will also allow the Western board time to negotiate a reasonable cost for tipping fees at Norris Arm,” Fenwick told Joyce.
His other request was to have funds from the gas tax allocated to finish facilities that could reduce the stream of waste to their final disposition.
“Joyce’s answer back to me was no, that government is going to close the St. George’s site, and municipalities and communities pay the extra fees,” Fenwick said.
He said there was nothing from Joyce about other transfer sites in western Newfoundland being set up to handle waste from construction jobs, including one in West Bay on the Port au Port Peninsula.
“If someone knocks down a building on the Port au Port Peninsula they have to get the debris to St. George’s and pay exorbitant tipping fees as of July next year,” Fenwick said. “The sad part is more people will be dumping on side roads.”
He said there have been blocks put up to his suggestion of having organic waste handled by a digester at New World Dairy in Maidstone that could have resulted in savings in tipping fees in the Bay St. George area.
Fenwick says these premature costs are solely the actions of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment and Joyce.
“It is important to remember these increases and the huge delay in diversion is something that has to be blamed on the current government and its MHAs,” he said.
Fenwick said the current review of the strategy the minister announced is a sham to deflect blame for the fiasco on the previous government, which started implementing the strategy.
He said Joyce, Scott Reid and John Finn are the people responsible for this huge cost increase and they are the ones to be held accountable in the next election.