- Does the decisions to deactivate the FEP/WSF rest solely with Regional Council?
Ultimately, deactivation of Otter Lake’s Front-End Processor and Waste Stabilization Facility (FEP/WSF) is the province’s decision. Staff could not move forward with the application to Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change unless Regional Council had approved the recommendations within the staff report.
- What does “deactivate the FEP/WSF” mean?
Deactivation of Otter Lake’s Front-End Processor and Waste Stabilization Facility (FEP/WSF) amounts to pausing its operations, allowing it to be resumed at any point if required.
The municipality is a leader among Canadian communities in source separated waste diversion programs, and due in part to its success, Otter Lake could continue to operate in an environmentally sound manner without the FEP/WSF.
The municipality remains committed to being a national leader in diverting material from landfill disposal. Deactivation – or pausing – of the Otter Lake’s FEP/WSF will have no off-site impacts to public health, environment, and will not affect current environmental monitoring practices at the site.
- What’s the application status?
On July 20, 2021, Regional Council accepted staff recommendations, including to submit an application to Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSE) to deactivate the Front End Processor and Waste Stabilization Facility (FEP/WSF) at the Otter Lake Waste Processing & Disposal Facility. An application to pause the FEP/WSF was submitted to NSE on August 26, 2021.
Ultimately, the decision to deactivate the FEP/WSF is up to the province. The municipality’s recommendation to deactivate the FEP/WSF amounts to pausing its operations, allowing it to be resumed at any point as required.
NSE has requested that, as part of the application consideration, the municipality and site operator, Mirror Nova Scotia Inc., conduct additional public consultation for the residents of Timberlea, Lakeside, Beechville, and Prospect within a five-kilometer radius of the Otter Lake facility. The consultation process ran from November 3 to December 3, 2021. While this public consultation was targeted to residents within five kilometres of the Otter Lake facility, all residents across the municipality were welcome to provide feedback.
The public consultation has now closed. However, you can still email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. We expect to share results from the survey in the new year.
Following the consultation period, the results will be submitted to NSE as part of the application for consideration.
- In what capacity will Otter Lake still function? Will I still be able to drop waste off there?
The Otter Lake Landfill will continue operations and residents will not be affected by either this application or the deactivation of the FEP/WSF. Residents will continue to be able to drop off waste at the facility.
- Is this recommendation to deactivate the FEP/WSF based on cost?
The municipality is a leader among Canadian communities in source separated waste diversion programs, including significant reduction in organic waste being landfilled, and due in part to its success the FEP/WSF is no longer needed. If deactivation is not achieved, the municipality will see increased costs in the order of $2 million annually.
- What will happen to the organic waste that would have previously been sorted by the FEP/WSF?
Currently organics make-up approximately 10 per cent of the incoming waste at the Otter Lake facility. This material is currently partially treated in the WSF and then landfilled. If the FEP/WSF is deactivated, then all incoming waste will be landfilled directly.
- Will this lead to an increase in odour, pests or litter near the facility? What monitoring will be done to ensure there is no impact?
In an FEP/WSF Closure Review report, Dillon Consulting concluded that “based on the results of this analysis, there does not appear to be any significant benefit to the continued operations of the FEP/WSF. Further, there does not appear to be any increased risk to public health and the environment if the FEP/WSF operations are terminated.”
Dillon Consulting concluded that there will be no anticipated off-site impacts, including impacts related to odour or pests.
Further, Dillon Consulting found that there could be potential increased risks on-site related to litter and pests, but that these risks could be mitigated through using additional portable fencing for litter, as well falconry as enhanced bird control and baiting programs for rodents at the landfill.
It’s important to note that all current environmental monitoring, including groundwater, surface water, and landfill gas monitoring/sampling will continue with no changes.