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County of Brant councillors approve Waste Connections Canada zoning application

CouncilCounty of Brant councillors approve Waste Connections Canada zoning application

County of Brant councillors unanimously approved a zoning by-law amendment application from Waste Connections Canada Inc. (WCC) during its regular council meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

Dillon Consulting Ltd., on behalf of WCC, had submitted a proposal to rezone the 779 Powerline Road property from Heavy Industrial to Energy and Waste Industrial – Site Specific.

“WCC currently operates the facility as a waste and recycling collection vehicle, and commercial bin rental facility and no waste is currently received or transferred at the site,” said the County staff report.

The rezoning would permit WCC to expand its current facility by constructing a new building to operate as a waste transfer station and to accept municipal solid waste, as well as commercial, industrial and institutional residual waste, before sorting and transferring it to a privately owned landfill.

As part of the amendment to the zoning by-law, WCC is requesting a reduced street setback, reduced interior side yard setback and reduced landscape open space.

Emily Sousa, a County of Brant Planner, said that up to this point, no comments have been received as part of the public circulation and that County staff is recommending the approval of the application as it constitutes good planning.

Councillor John Bell, expressed his worry regarding the setback request and asked Sousa what the impact of allowing the setback would entail.

“The reduction for an interior side yard setback would allow for more efficient design and ability to construct on the site, including additional traffic management from that perspective, given that vehicles will be entering and exiting throughout the site. In terms of neighbours, the development would be closer to surrounding properties,” responded Sousa. “Staff have done a review in terms of looking at sensitive land uses, and we have identified a single dwelling that’s on the outskirts of the search radius or setback requirement for the employment area for this specific property and the proposed use. …The rest of the area in terms of uses existing surrounding the property to date, are general employment uses. In terms of a compatibility perspective, it is of staff’s opinion that the proposal at hand would be compatible with those in the surrounding area and adjacent to the property.”

Councillor David Miller inquired who residents would contact if down the road there was an odor problem with the facility and Sousa noted that there are three options.

“One is that the Ministry of Environment, as they do have a role in terms of regulating the use and the operations on site. Two, there is the ability to contact the individual building or the operators, and three, complaints could be made to bylaw should there be a concern and we could investigate and address it from there,” said Sousa.

David Bailey, Mayor for the County of Brant noted that there is also a nuisance bylaw that they could go through before involving the Ministry of Environment as well.

Later on, Laurel Hoffarth, Region Engineer for WCC, provided further clarification.

“When we go to obtain an Environmental Compliance Approval for this facility, we will need to outline an entire design and operations plan for the facility and it will deal with any sort of nuisance that could arise. We will also have to have a plan on how to address those nuisance issues,” she said. “Before we get to operating the station, we will need to have a detailed plan of what we’ll need to do. I do want to add we have a number of these facilities that operate across Ontario, and we typically don’t have concerns from how we operate them. We employ appropriate technologies to ensure that that the odors don’t become a nuisance for our neighbours.”

Councillor John Pierce then asked how much of the waste collected at WCC would possibly end up in the Biggars Lane Landfill Site, noting that his question went unanswered at previous meeting.

“There wasn’t an answer for it when they were here the first time, and I’m looking for an answer for it this time. Along with that same question, I asked if, in fact, there’s hazardous waste going to be allowed to be put there? And if so, what? paint, tires, propane tanks, etc.?” asked Pierce. “… He suggested that they have their own waste station, I believe it was down towards Chatham, but I don’t know if all of its going to be shipped out that way. Because if some of it is going to be shipped to Biggars Lane again, where we’re just expanding that, that’s going to reduce the life of that [landfill]. …If all of a sudden, I find out that, 25 per cent of their waste is going to be diverted to Biggars, I’m not okay with that.”

He noted that he was having a tough time determining how he would vote if he didn’t have that information.

With County staff not having enough information on the matter, council then voted to waive the rules to all WCC staff to come forward and comment.

“One hundred per cent of the waste will be going to our own privately owned landfill in Chatham and zero per cent will be going to the city’s landfill or to Biggars Lane,” said Julie Wilson, district manager of WWC. “As well, our transfer site will only be accepting solid, non-hazardous waste, so we will not be accepting anything that’s hazardous.”

Council then voted unanimously to approve the application and the applicant intends to immediately apply for a site plan approval.

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