- Waste Management of Canada opened its Thorhild landfill facility, northeast of Edmonton, last week in the midst of a nearly 10-year controversy. Waste Management says the facility offers a long-term solution to an otherwise big problem, as West Edmonton landfill nears the end of its airspace capacity. But Edmonton’s citizens and some public authorities question whether the landfill meets specified requirements, signed off on by then-environment minister Diana McQueen.
- A 2013 hearing was prompted by skeptical citizens after Alberta Environment and Thorhild County granted Waste Management a permit in 2008. The Alberta Environment Appeal Board upheld the approval but called the site marginal and required eight additional measures to protect the water, environment, and human health.
- Citizens continue to express concerns, especially about the water, including resident Peggy Hilts and her husband Ted who said the landfill cut off water supply on their property.
Waste Management completed test loads, and said it has met all permit requirements of Thorhild County and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. But Thorhild County Reeve Dan Buryn is not sure that the ministerial order that followed the 2013 hearing has been upheld, citing the surface water issue.
"The ministerial order reflected on that, and I don’t even know if that’s been rectified. And I don’t even know if Alberta Environment is checking up and following their own ministerial order," Buryn said to the Edmonton Journal.
Alberta Environment Board spokesman Jamie Hanloncan confirms that Waste Management of Canada has met all conditions outlined in the ministerial order. As of this October, Waste Management is authorized to accept household garbage, commercial, industrial and nonhazardous waste such as soils contaminated with grease or oil.