Waste transfer closure could see rise in illegal dumping

Mountain View County fears its ditches will be turned into makeshift dump sites if a transfer station in Olds is closed.

Mountain View County fears its ditches will be turned into makeshift dump sites if a transfer station in Olds is closed.

High costs led the Mountain View Regional Waste Commission to vote recently to close a transfer site in the town. It had been used as a collection point for everything from agricultural plastic and burn barrel ashes to electronics and waste oil.

However, the site was being used less frequently and was running a deficit, prompting the commission to close it by Oct. 1.

County Reeve Bruce Beattie said they fear taking away a convenient site for many residents will lead to more illegal dumping, already a problem in the county, as it is in many others.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt without those facilities we’ll find more waste in our ditches and our farm fields,” said Beattie. “It’s not something we want to see happen.

“I think that’s one of our major concerns, and certainly not only ourselves but for residents of Olds in terms of their ability to deal with their waste.

“Those services provided by he waste transfer site we feel are pretty important.”

“We’ve already lost our rural waste pickup through the commission. That is now contracted out to another company.”

Waste transfer sites are located at Sundre and Water Valley in the county, but they aren’t close to many residents, he said.

Beattie said the county has had “informal discussions” with municipal representatives in Olds and Carstairs to see if an alternative to closing the Olds transfer site can be found.

“We’re going to approach the commission and get a better handle on what their plans are and what they might be open to in terms of those transfer stations,” said Beattie.

The commission meets next on Sept. 28.

Commission chair Mary Anne Overwater said it is willing to consider other options.

“At the time we made the best decision we could. We are contemplating other options for that site,” said Overwater, an Olds town councillor.

Possibilities involve reduced operating days or service levels at the site.

“We’re certainly open to suggestions. But right now that facility operates at a loss and the building itself needs some major repairs.”

Since July, the transfer station’s deficit has climbed to $75,000.

For residents in the area, taking their garbage to the Didsbury landfill site only about 10 km away is a far cheaper option, she said. As well, fridges, metals and batteries no longer accepted at the Olds transfer site can be taken to Didsbury.

There are concerns the closure of the Olds site might be followed by other closures, he added.

Other counties, such as Kneehill County, offer low-cost garbage to their residents not matched by the local commission.

On top of the proposed service reduction, is a significant boost in the county’s requisition from the commission. It is set to rise from about $170,000 to more than $400,000 this year.

“I guess as a rural resident I’m starting to wonder what we’re getting for the dollars we’re putting in.”

Overwater said the commission has been going through some challenging times and a $25 per capital requisition was needed. Requisitions will be lower for 2016.

“This year, I think our councils and municipalities will be pleasantly surprised at the budget we’re going to present.”

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

Just Posted

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has been climbing up since Jan. 20 at Red Deer's Olymel meat processing plant. (File photo by Advocate Staff)
Some Olymel workers return for training, plant reopening date not set

Union calls for delay of opening as workers fear for safety

Artist Lorne Runham's COVID Bubbles abstract work (shown here as a detail) can be viewed in an online art show on the Red Deer Arts Council's website until April 18. (Contributed image).
Art created in Red Deer in the time of COVID can be viewed in new online show

The show by members of the Red Deer Arts Council runs until April 18

Activists against open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains hung a protest banner outside Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon’s Rocky Mountain House constituency office. Exploratory coal leases in the Nordegg area were recently granted by Nixon’s UCP government, and many local residents say they feel betrayed, as they had been promised eco-tourism opportunities by Clearwater County. (Contributed photo).
Anti-coal mining activists post banner on Environment Minister’s Rocky constituency office

Activists call for clean water protection, ban on strip mining

Justice Anne Molloy, from top left, John Rinaldi, Dr. Scott Woodside and accused Alek Minassian are shown during a murder trial conducted via Zoom videoconference in this courtroom sketch on December 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Verdict expected today in Toronto van attack trial

Alek Minassian admitted to planning and carrying out the attack on April 23, 2018

(Image from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer students enter Skills competition

Regional competition begins this month

UCP MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr. (File photo)
MLA Ron Orr: Benchmarks were achieved but goalposts were moved

Orr responds to concerns, calls on province to fully open Step 2

hands
The call is out in Rimbey to sign on with a group that is all about building connections

‘Already, we are building a network where we can rely on each other and help each other out’

Commissioner Roger Goodell talks about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award during the NFL Honors ceremony as part of Super Bowl 55 Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Annual NFL women’s forum enhancing career opportunities

When Sam Rapoport envisioned conducting virtually the NFL’s fifth annual Women’s Career… Continue reading

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020), speaks during a news conference with Toshiro Muto, left, CEO of Tokyo 2020, after a council meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Kimimasa Mayama/Pool Photo via AP)
Fans from abroad unlikely for postponed Tokyo Olympics

Olympics scheduled to open on July 23

FILE - Singer Jhene Aiko poses for a portrait on Dec. 7, 2020, in Los Angeles. Aiko will host the 63rd GRAMMY Awards on March 14. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jhene Aiko to host Grammy Award premiere ceremony

63rd annual Grammy ceremony set for March 14

Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault holds a press conference in Ottawa on November 3, 2020. The Heritage Department is committing $40 million to a “COVID-safe events fund” designed to encourage arts and cultural plans to move forward in the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Heritage minister unveils COVID-19 events fund for arts and cultural sector

Financial support tops out at $100,000 per eligible applicant

opinion
Opinion: Crisis in long-term care must include data-driven change

More than 19,000 people in Canada have died from COVID-19 – more… Continue reading

The Dawe family home in the Michener Hill subdivision in Red Deer. This house was designed and built by Robert G. Dawe, a local engineer, in 1911 and has remained in the family ever since. (Contributed photo)
Michael Dawe: 65 years of Red Deer history

As a major milestone birthday looms, I thought that it might be… Continue reading

Most Read