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Municipal Affairs
May 23, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Kevin O’Brien, Minister of Municipal Affairs:

Province Sees Continued Progress with Roll-Out of Provincial Waste Management Strategy

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to highlight the continued progress in implementing the Provincial Waste Management Strategy in our province.

Mr. Speaker, the goals of this strategy are to reduce the amount of materials in provincial landfill sites by 50 per cent, reduce the total number of waste disposal sites by 80 per cent, eliminate open burning of waste at disposal sites and phase-out incinerators, phase out unlined landfills, and encourage residents of Newfoundland and Labrador to participate in waste diversion programs such as recycling and composting. Full implementation of the strategy is scheduled for 2020.

A total of $145.3 million has been invested in the Provincial Waste Management Strategy in the province, $82.8 million by the Provincial Government and $62.5 million from Gas Tax funding. As a result of these investments to date, approximately two-thirds of the province’s population is disposing of waste in one of two lined landfills with leachate collection. Mr. Speaker, throughout our province we are reducing the number of disposal sites, with over 120 dumps closed to date, which is more than a 50 per cent reduction.

Mr. Speaker, the Provincial Waste Management Strategy is a large regionalization initiative. My department is actively working with 20 regional and sub-regional communities or boards, representing over 500 communities at the grassroots level to find appropriate solutions.

In the last two years, we have seen success throughout the entire province. Mr. Speaker, with the exception of one community, all municipal waste west to Goobies and Swift Current is currently being transported to the Eastern Waste Management Site at Robin Hood Bay.

Mr. Speaker, the Central Waste Management Facility, located at Norris Arm, became operational earlier this year. Through an investment of $15 million, a new Materials Recovery Facility will be constructed in central Newfoundland, which will allow residents of the central region to begin recycling. Mr. Speaker, almost 50 per cent of our province’s population already has access to recycling facilities.

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased with the progress being made in the western region. In addition to the important work of closing community dumps and incinerators, the Western Regional Waste Management Committee has made tremendous progress in their search for a long-term solution for the western region. My department will continue to work with that committee to finalize those plans.

In Labrador, we have worked with the towns of Wabush and Labrador City to close the local incinerator and establish a well-managed landfill for that area. We are working with local leaders throughout Labrador to find appropriate solutions to the unique challenges we face in Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work with communities as we proceed towards full implementation of the strategy by 2020.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2012 05 23                        2:20 p.m.

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