Solid Waste Authority Board Orders Review of Proposed Organic Waste Program

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The future of a regional organic waste recycling program remains unclear.

The Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority board received a report Tuesday night on several options to get the program going, but a number of board members were apprehensive as there's no concrete price tag attached to building the facility yet.

After a hefty debate, the board unanimously supported having the proposal reviewed by an independent third party from a science, technology and financial aspect.

Tecumseh mayor Gary McNamara says he can't burden taxpayers with an unknown cost.

"You want us to commit a whole pile of stuff before we even get to the reality. I think a regional approach is the right approach, but we should be able to make sure that we're solid on the financials and make sure that we're using the best technology we can today."

Leamington mayor Hilda MacDonald says she needs more information to bring to her council.

"Removing organics from our landfill site is important to all of us. I'm not going to debate that. That's like being against moms and apple pie, but without how much it's going to cost each of our municipalities I'm in a really bad spot to say let me sign on the dotted line."

LaSalle mayor Marc Bondy says this is a big investment and it needs to be done right.

"If I'm going to put my head on the line and say we're going to spend this much money, for the future generations to come, we're locked in this. I ran a business for 41 years, I want numbers. I don't want to go with hypotheticals. I'm not doing this. There's no chance in hell. I need to get more direct answers."

The report is expected to come back before the board within 90 days.

The current proposal lists a number of options ranging between $30-million and $150-million depending on the extent of the operation.

The province has mandated municipalities have an organic waste program up and running by 2025.