The issue of waste management in the Outaouais (four regional counties or MRCs + the City of Gatineau) was on the back burner since 2012 after a
regional call for tenders for an alternative to landfill was turned down by the
industry because the Region was not generating enough waste (a consequence
of successful composting and recycling programs).
On July 4, 2017, the City of Gatineau entered into a partnership agreement with
the Montreal École Polytechnique's Research Chair on the Recovery of Waste
Management for the research and development of waste-into-energy solutions
for Gatineau and the four Outaouais counties (MRCs).
The results of this study were presented to the City of Gatineau in early
September: after estimating the tonnage of the ultimate waste generated in the
Outaouais over the next few decades, researchers at the École polytechnique
recommended its recovery by incineration or gasification. Tonnage will remain an
issue, but it is no longer insurmountable because since 2012, waste-into-energy
technologies have evolved. While Ottawa's participation in the project would
broaden the range of options, it would also require legislative changes as it is
currently prohibited to move waste across provincial boundaries in Canada.
However, recent Ontario legislation (July 2020) could influence the choices of
large cities like Ottawa: it now gives Ontario municipalities the power to accept or
refuse any new engineered landfill project within 3.5 km of their boundaries
1.5772608). The change is a big win for a coalition of small towns across Ontario
that's been calling for more say over landfill development in or near their
communities. But the province has now left larger cities with a looming challenge
of finding a place for their garbage.
In September, the City of Gatineau submitted a formal request for financial
assistance for Phases II (pre-feasibility study) and III of the project (choice of site
and technology by the four Wardens of the Outaouais and the Mayor of
Gatineau). Phase II is to be completed in February 2021, and Phase III in June
In other words, if the process continues as planned, the Outaouais Region will at
long last stop sending its ultimate waste to the LaChute engineered landfill site in
the near future.
Those who have been supporting the Coalition for the past 15 years will recall
that it advocated waste-into-energy technologies (incineration or gasification) as
early as 2006. These technologies make it possible to transform energy from
waste into electricity to power thousands of homes or public institutions.
For more information (in French only):
On July 4, 2017, the City of Gatineau voted in favour of a partnership
agreement with the Montreal École Polytechnique's Research Chair on the
Recovery of Waste Management. The City of Gatineau is to contribute
$50,000 annually for the period 2016-2020.
This new partnership will contribute to the research and development of
solutions for the recovery of the so-called ultimate waste, i.e. waste that
cannot be recycled nor composted.
The City of Gatineau will benefit greatly from this research as it will use its
results to identify the best option possible not only for the City of Gatineau
but also for the Outaouais Region as a whole.
The Coalition, represented by André Carrière and Michèle Borchers, attended
the public consultations held by the City of Gatineau (September 2015) and by
the MRC Vallée-de- la-Gatineau (January 2016) on their draft waste management
plans for the four-year period 2016-2020. A brief was tabled by the Coalition at
each of these two public consultations. The MRC Pontiac held public
consultations on its draft plan in March 2016, and the MRC des Collines-de-
l'Outaouais held its public consultations in January and February of this year. All
these draft plans are to be submitted to the Quebec Ministry of the Environment
All four local governments (Gatineau, three MRCs) state that they need to work
together to find a regional solution regarding waste currently shipped outside of
the Outaouais (to the LaChute engineered landfill). In the summer or the fall of
this year, the City of Gatineau is to study all options available for the period
starting in 2020 (it will take four years to prepare), and the City of Ottawa will
hopefully take part in that study. These options include both old and new
solutions: an engineered landfill or an incineration facility; a waste-into- energy
process other than incineration; teaming up with other municipalities in the
National Capital Region; a public-private partnership with the company Resolute,
to use its biomass furnace.
This means that, even though there is a clear intent to find an alternative to
landfill, the door is not entirely closed on it. Whatever its nature, any future centre
should be geographically close to the main garbage production centre (the City of
Gatineau). Stay tuned.
The countdown has started for the City of Gatineau and every MRC in the Outaouais to submit their Draft Waste Management Plan to the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development. The deadline is October 31, 2015.
Because it accounts for about 75 % of the total waste generated in the Outaouais Region, the City of Gatineau is spearheading the search for a regional waste management facility.
Here is Gatineau's Calendar:
- 25 August 2015 : Gatineau's Municipal Council will adopt Gatineau's Waste Management Plan First Draft
- Late September 2015 : Information sessions for citizens
- Late October 2015 : Public consultations
- Fall 2015 : Gatineau's Municipal Council will adopt the final WMP draft
The final draft will then be submitted to the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development for approval.
The Coalition has endorsed the Region's approach. For the past ten years, the Coalition has maintained contact with provincial authorities, regional decision-makers, and local Members of Quebec's National Assembly to make sure that our voice is heard and that we are kept in the loop. Our efforts are recognized, and we will take part in the public consultation process scheduled for this fall in Gatineau. Stay tuned.
The transition from landfill to a modern and sustainable option is moving at a snail's pace. Because it accounts for about 75 % of the total waste generated in the Outaouais Region, the City of Gatineau is spearheading the search for a regional waste management facility. None of the pre-qualified waste management firms submitted a tender in 2012, presumably because they deemed the volumes of ultimate household waste to be insufficient - a direct result of Gatineau's successful composting and recycling programs.
As it does every five years, the City of Gatineau is reviewing its Waste Management Plan this year. It will use this opportunity to look at ways to include in its project two categories of waste that have so far not been under municipal control, i.e. industrial, institutional and commercial (ICI) waste, on the one hand, and construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) waste, on the other. In order to do so, however, Gatineau has to wait for the provincial government's latest guidelines to be issued by the end of this summer. These guidelines should inform municipalities of new tools they can use to encourage a better management of these two types of waste.
The MRC Pontiac is having an online survey on waste management in the Pontiac (http://www.mrcpontiac.qc.ca). We are encouraging Pontiac members of the Coalition to fill out the online form. If you are concerned about the prospect of waste being imported into the Pontiac, you might want to answer « no » to the second part of Question7.
The Coalition has endorsed the Region's approach, and communicated its position to the Quebec Minister of the Environment in May of this year. The Coalition has also received the support of Stéphanie Vallée, our MNA for Vallée-de-la-Gatineau. For the past eight years, the Coalition has maintained contact with provincial authorities, regional decision-makers, and local Members of Quebec's National Assembly to make sure that our voice is heard and that we are kept in the loop. Our efforts are recognized, and we have been asked to be part of the future public consultation process.
April 5, 2012 - The City of Gatineau issued a call for tender for a regional waste treatment facility that excluded landfill. Pre-qualified firms had until July 26 to submit their proposal. That deadline was postponed to October 25.
June 27, 2012 - The Mayor of Gatineau and the wardens of three* of the four Outaouais Regional Counties (MRC) signed an historical 20-year partnership agreement to have the Region's waste treated with a waste-into-energy technology, declarng landfill a thing of the past. The Outaouais's fourth MRC (MRC de Papineau) already has its own waste management solution. Please note: The City of Gatineau generates almost 70% of the Region's waste.
*MRC des Collines-de-l'outaouais, MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, MRC de Pontiac
Latest developments: More delays
October 25, 2012 - Since the public can attend the opening of bids, André Carrière and Michèle Borchers went to the office where bids were to be opened. Surprisingly, none of the three companies which had prequalified submitted a bid.
Gatineau and regional officials will have to find out why these three companies failed to bid and may make recommendations for a new call for tender.
A possible explanation: Between the pre-qualification process and the final call for tenders, the total volume of waste guaranteed to bidders was significantly reduced (by 20,000 tons) to reflect the positive results of Gatineau's composting and recycling programs.
The Coalition has contacted the Gatineau official in charge of the file to find out what the next course of action will be. Stay tuned.
Historical agreement between the City of Gatineau and three Outaouais MRCs for a regional ultimate waste management solution.
We are one big step further on the (very) long road towards a regional ultimate waste management solution.
On June 27, 2012, the City of Gatineau and the Wardens of three of our MRCs (Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, Collines de l'Outaouais and Pontiac) signed a 20-year agreement. The MRC Papineau did not sign because it already has its own solution.
On July 26, the bids submitted by prequalified companies will be publicly opened at Gatineau City Hall. We will have to wait until October to know which firm (and hence which technology) has been chosen by the Region.
Here is the link:
At a press conference on Tuesday, February 14, Gatineau's Mayor, Marc Bureau, gave an update concerning the future waste treatment facility for the Outaouais.
He confirmed that three firms prequalified for the call for tenders, which will begin within a few weeks, in March 2012. The deadline for submissions will be late June 2012. These submissions will be examined during the summer. The new waste-into-energy technology to be chosen by the Region (presumably in the Fall of this year) will need approbal by the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks,
If everything goes according to plan, the new regional treatment facility should be up and running in 2014-15, at which point the ultimate waste produced in our Region will no longer be shipped to Lachute. A new facility would also mean closing down the Waste Service Centre on the Boulevard de la Carrière in Hull.
The City of Gatineau has been successful at reducing its ultimate waste volume by 44% in 2011 thanks to its composting and recycling programs. Marc Bureau is confident, though, that, with a steadily increasing population, Gatineau will have no problem delivering the minimum volume guaranteed to the new facility for twenty years, which will be 50,000 tons/year.
The three MRCs (Pontiac, Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, Collines) combined will guarantee a total volume of 15,000 tons/year. The MRC Papineau will ship its ultimate waste to the forestry company Fortress in Thurso to be incinerated there
André Carrière et Michèle Borchers
The City of Gatineau is spear-heading the search for a waste-into-energy solution for the Outaouais. Phase I (preselection process) is almost completed, and several submissions have been received. All information pertaining to this process is confidential, because, in accordance with the new Quebec Procurement Act, companies must not know whom they are competing against until the call for tenders (Phase II) is completed, i.e. until next fall. If all goes according to schedule, we should know by the end of this year which firm has been selected, and which technology will have been chosen. Stay tuned.
On June 23, 2009, the Government of Quebec, upon the recommendation of the Quebec Minister of the Environment, Madame Line Beauchamp, issued a decree rejecting the Danford Lake Megadump Project. In her press release, the Minister justified this move by saying that the Quebec Government wanted to allow the Outaouais Region to complete its search for a sustainable solution. In June 2010, André Carrière and Michèle Borchers had the opportunity to thank Madame Beauchamp in person on behalf of citizens in the Outaouais.
Following that decision, the Coalition Against the Danford Megadump Project pledged to remain active and to support regional officials in their search for a sustainable solution.
This brief message is to let you know that we have done just that.
On March 11, 2010, the federal corporation called the Coalition Against Danford Megadump officially changed its name to Coalition for Responsible Waste Management in the Outaouais. The ten members of the Coalition’s executive remained on board. André Carrière stayed on as President, and Michèle Borchers, as Vice-President.
Over the past 18 months, André and Michèle have attended the meetings of the Outaouais Regional Conference of Elected Officials (Conférence régionale des élus de l’Outaouais or Cré-0) that are held every five weeks or so. The final decision regarding waste management for the Outaouais will be made at this level. At each of these regional meetings, André and Michèle use the Public Question Period to ask for an update and to encourage the Outaouais’ elected officials to speed up the decision-making process.
Until recently, the Coalition has always received the same response: “the Quebec Government is in the process of amending the Quebec Environment Act and redefining the concept of waste recovery. Until the Region knows if the thermal treatment of waste will be considered waste recovery (and no longer waste disposal), the Region cannot make a final decision”.
When we met with Madame Beauchamp early in June 2010, we asked her when the modified version of the Environment Quality Act (Bill 88) might be passed. She told us she was hoping it would be in the fall.
Christmas is near, and Bill 88 has yet to be passed. However, in August 2010, the Quebec Ministry of the Environment published an important document (http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/matieres/regime-compensation/hierarchie-modesgmr.pdf) creating a framework for establishing a list of criteria that thermal treatment should meet in order to be deemed waste recovery.
At the December 6, 2010 Board meeting of the Outaouais Regional Conference of Elected Officials, we asked if that document would help the Region in speeding up its search for a regional solution. We were told that it would, that a call for tenders would be issued early in 2011, and that a regional solution might be implemented by the end of 2013.
For lack of funds, we have not been able to create a new website as we had hoped, so we do wish to keep our current website (www.savedanford.com). Even a small donation would be welcome!
Our new email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our mailing address is unchanged (P.B. 911, Danford Lake, Quebec, J0X 1P0).
André Carrière and Michèle Borchers
The Coalition Against Danford Megadump (www.savedanford.com) has always stressed the importance of finding a sustainable alternative to landfill. This explains in part the huge support it has gathered from citizens as well as from elected officials in the Region.
Now that the Quebec government has rejected the Danford Lake project by decree, the Coalition will remain active under a new name: Coalition for Responsible Waste Management in the Outaouais (CRWMO).
Our NEW website is: www.dechetsutiles-smartwaste.com
The Coalition highly commends Mme Line Beauchamp, the Quebec minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Parks and Jean Charest’s government for their decision to reject the creation of a regional megalandfill near Danford Lake, in an area of pristine lakes and rivers that is primarily oriented towards tourism and ecotourism
This decision is the right decision, because it is consistent
- with the conclusions of the Quebec Environmental Review Board (BAPE);
- with the essential thrusts of the Sustainable Development Strategy;
- with the Quebec official Waste Management Policy;
and, last but not least, because it recognizes and conforms with the desire of the public, elected representatives in the Outaouais, and other regions of Quebec to seek alternatives to landfills and a reduction of greenhouse gases.
The Wardens in the Outaouais, the Mayor of Gatineau, and the West Quebec Council of Elected Officials should also be congratulated, since their decision in the Spring of 2008 to seek an alternative to landfill undoubtedly influenced the province’s decision.
The Coalition would also like to commend Mrs. Stéphanie Vallée, Member of the Quebec National Assembly for the Gatineau Riding, who has courageously, consistently and tenaciously defended her vision of a green Outaouais ever since she was first elected and who has always shown that she listens to the people she represents.
The Coalition will continue to involve itself with this issue by actively supporting all efforts made by the Region until a sustainable regional solution has been implemented.
The real victors in this long struggle are our lakes, and our forests, and our rivers, and our wildlife—they were unable to speak for themselves, but the people of West Quebec spoke for them, and were listened to. They can be proud that they are able to pass on their heritage to their children, unspoiled.
- Ne doutez jamais qu'un petit groupe d'individus très motivés puisse changer le monde;
- en fait, c'est la seule chose qui l'ait jamais changé.
- Margaret Mead
Many of you have had your letters to the Minister of the Environment published in various regional newspapers (Le Droit, The Low Down, The Equity, The Pontiac Journal). Hopefully the voice of the people will have an impact on the decision-making process.
In the meantime, the Coalition remains active. André Carrière and Michèle Borchers attended the last board meeting of the Outaouais Regional Council (Feb 9). They learned that things are going according to plan (call for tenders in the Spring of 2009 and signing of contract in September 2009) and that we will learn more after the next Wardens Council in mid-March. Jean Perras, Chelsea’s Mayor, will sit on it as the new Warden for the MRC Collines-de-l’Outaouais.
On February 11, the municipalities of Shawville and Clarendon (MRC Pontiac) and Pontiac (MRC Collines-de-l’Outaouais) published a joint letter (Three municipalities have answer to dump closures) in The Pontiac Journal informing the public of their endeavours to find an alternative to the Danford dump project. It is well worth reading (see attached). The basic message is:
"Our three municipalities wish to make the public aware of what they have pursued as an option should the Danford Lake project not be approved".
On February 13, André and Michèle met with Norman MacMillan, the Minister responsible for the Outaouais Region, at his Buckingham office. The exchange was open and frank.
Last minute info:
Gatineau is sending the head of its Environment Committee, Alain Riel, to Sweden to study how the Swedes manage their waste. Please read attached article from Le Droit.
Quite a few of you are Kazabazua taxpayers and, as such, are entitled to vote at this Sunday's municipal by-election. It is important that you take the time to come to Kaz and cast your vote for Councellor seat no. 1. Municipal councils have a huge influence on issues like the megadump project.
Candidates for Position #1 on the Kaz Council:
Robert Rowan, 36 Danford Road West
(Robert is a member of the Kazabazua Lakes Association)
Denis Belair, 7 Ch. Belair
Sunday, February 22 10 A.M. until 8 P.M.
Kazabazua Community Centre (Please take photo I.D.)
Every day, people in the Outaouais are contacting the Coalition to express their outrage at Mrs. L’Écuyer’s announcement that discussions are taking place between the Quebec Ministry of the Environment and the promoter regarding the possible approval of the Danford Lake MegaDump in the coming days. |
We encourage all residents of the Outaouais, to fax or email (not enough time for regular mail!) letters to Mme Line Beauchamp, Minister of Environment, with copies to Premier Jean Charest, and Mr. Norman MacMillan, Minister responsible for the Outaouais Region, and express their outrage.
Copies should also be emailed or faxed to the media as “open letters” in the hope that they will publish them. Contact information is provided below.
Time is of essence. Letters have to be e-mailed or faxed as soon as possible (every day counts) and certainly no later than February 9.
Here is a list of issues that you might want to consider when you write your own letter:
Why would the government consider this project when:
Fax or email your letter to:
- The City of Gatineau and all four MRCs in the Outaouais, including the Pontiac, have committed to a regional solution other than landfill to be implemented in the next 3-4 years and found an interim solution until then. Why would the government undermine these efforts?
- Four (4) of the 18 Pontiac municipalities (Danford Lake is one of them!) had already closed their trench landfills and made arrangements for the next few years. Why would the other 14 mayors of the Pontiac being rewarded for “doing nothing”? They have turned down every other proposal presented to them, and have sat on their hands in the hope that this dump will be granted them.
- The promoter has made it clear that the MRC Pontiac and the MRC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, together, do not produce enough waste to make his project financially viable. If the Minister were to approve the project, where would the garbage really be coming from? Please note once again that the Regional Director of the Ministry of the Environment expressed to the BAPE his concern that the dump site might accept waste coming from Ontario.
- How could the Minister justify running counter to the Quebec Strategy on Sustainable Development, Quebec Waste Management Policy, to the Recommendations of the Parliamentary Commission on Waste, and to the Quebec Action Plan concerning greenhouse gases?
- The Quebec Environmental Review Board (Bape), the Ministry of the Environment’s own advisory body, rejected the project in September 2007.
Mrs. Line Beauchamp, Minister
Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs
Mr. Norman MacMillan,
Minister responsible for the Outaouais
Fax: 819 986-8629
Mr. Jean Charest
Premier ministre du Québec
And send a copy to:
On Monday, January 26, 2009, at the Pontiac Mayors’ Council, the Pontiac Member of the National Assembly, Charlotte l’Écuyer, declared that the project will probably be approved next week and that the promoter is currently discussing the issue with the Quebec Ministry of the Environment (please see
attached articles from The Equity or visit
Since the City of Gatineau and the other Outaouais Counties (MRCs) have committed themselves to having a green solution (waste-into-energy) within three to four years and, during the interim, they are sending their waste to the Lachute landfill site, the Ministry might approve a downsized project—to serve the Pontiac only.
However, approving such a dump only for the Pontiac and for the next thirty years, as initially proposed by the promoter, would make no sense at all—and this, for two reasons:
First of all, the Quebec Ministry of the Environment has just agreed to postpone the mandated closure of trench landfills for nine months (until September 2009) in the Pontiac. It would be much wiser for the Ministry to postpone the closure for three to four years (until the opening of a regional centre).
Secondly, the MRC Pontiac does not produce enough waste, all by itself, to make the proposed Danford project viable–this was made clear at the Quebec Environmental Board hearings. This leads to the question: where would the additional waste come from? From outside the Outaouais? Several participants at the Quebec Environmental Board hearings, including the regional director of the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, expressed a fear that it might be imported from Ontario.
At a time when both the American and Canadian governments have decided to invest heavily in green technologies, it would be a shame to see the Quebec government take a step backward by allowing the Pontiac to use a technology that many experts deem outdated.