Southern Alberta village council burns proposed biowaste incinerator

BEISEKER, Alta. — A proposal to build a biomedical waste incinerator near a southern Alberta village has been rejected after area residents raised concerns about emissions from the plant.

There was loud applause from about 100 people on hand Tuesday night when the five-member council in Beiseker, about 75 kilometres northeast of Calgary, unanimously voted down a land-use bylaw that would have allowed the incinerator to proceed.

The plant would have been built on land owned by Alberta-based G-M Pearson and create 22 full-time jobs for workers who would incinerate 8,000 tonnes of waste every year, including human tissue.

It would also have provided tax revenue for the community, which is about $160,000 in debt.

Despite the economic benefit, many residents complained about a lack of consultation on issues surrounding the health and environmental impact on farms, cattle and the local water supply.

G-M Pearson won’t speculate on what it will do with the land, but suggests selling it is one possibility.

Beiseker Mayor Warren Wise said Alberta Health and Alberta Environment had “no real issues” with the plant, but he described the company’s proposal as poor.

“They didn’t prepare people properly.”

Rockyview County resident Jane Sengerlang said the vote was a triumph for the community and that “democracy has prevailed.”

“It was the conviction and the knowledge that this was not safe, it was toxic and it was lethal for our children,” she said.

G-M Pearson’s website describes the family-run business as a long-term provider of “outstanding biomedical waste disposal services” for its clients.

The site says the company handles the waste from its removal and transportation to its final, safe disposal at government-approved facilities and is fully compliant with all Alberta environmental regulations.

Owner Joe Kress said the village council’s rejection is “just a bump in the road” and that he wants to see a medical waste facility built by his company, even if it’s not in Beiseker.

“We’re not giving up. Incineration for medical waste disposal is essential, so it has to go somewhere. Alberta needs an incinerator.” (CTV Calgary)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Incinerator

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

A firetruck sits in front of a home on Harvey Close in Red Deer Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to Red Deer fire

Red Deer firefighters responded to a blaze in the north part of… Continue reading

(Courtesy photo)
Red Deer rental prices drop slightly

Renting an apartment in Red Deer became slightly cheaper last month. Rentals.ca… Continue reading

Rylee Trippel was last seen Friday. (Photo contributed by RCMP)
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing teen

Police are looking for a teen who was last seen in the… Continue reading

The Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60,000 in 2020. (Photo courtesy Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Facebook)
Red Deer Outreach Centre’s Adopt a Family program raised $60K in 2020

The executive director of the Red Deer Outreach Centre says she is… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

RCMP say missing teen Hope Tivendale has been found. (File photo by Advocate staff)
No foul play suspected after burned body of homeless person found in North Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person,… Continue reading

The central zone experienced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases Thursday, rising from 454 to 508 active cases over the past 24 hours, with 10 people in hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Spartan Bioscience says Health Canada has approved its rapid COVID-19 test

TORONTO — An Ottawa company says it’s received approval from Health Canada… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole defends decision to back, then oust, Sloan

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he was once willing to… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault pauses as he speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Non-essential travel ban would violate Constitution but courts might allow it: expert

MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19… Continue reading

A woman walks outside the Roberta Place Long Term Care home in Barrie, Ont. on Monday, January 18, 2021. The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in Canada has underscored the need for increased public funding for home care, advocates say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
COVID-19 deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates

VANCOUVER — The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in… Continue reading

A Chinese flag is illuminated by sunshine in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, September 22, 2016. China is threatening retaliation against Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned a new security law giving Beijing more control over Hong Kong.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Diplomats contact Canadian held for over 2 years in China

BEIJING — Canadian officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig,… Continue reading

Marc Gold (centre) stands with senators André Pratte (left) and Peter Harder before being sworn in during a ceremony in the Senate on Parliament Hill, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Senator urges study of vexing barriers to using secret information in court cases

OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg ticket holder wins Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — A ticket holder from Winnipeg won Friday night’s whopping $60… Continue reading

Most Read