Last updated: October 4, 2021
The Otter Lake Waste Processing & Disposal Facility (Otter Lake) was commissioned in 1999, and included the Front End Processor (FEP) and Waste Stabilization Facility (WSF). The FEP consists of mechanical equipment that processes bagged garbage. The main function is to separate organics containing waste such as food waste and to send this material to the WSF for biostabilization (treatment similar to composting) prior to landfilling. The overall purpose of the FEP/WSF is to protect the local community from landfill nuisance factors, such as odours and attraction of birds.
The FEP/WSF was developed at a time when only approximately five per cent of waste materials were diverted from landfill disposal and prior to the implementation of the municipality’s green cart program that diverts food waste from landfill disposal.
Today, the municipality is a national leader in diverting waste from landfill disposal. This includes a successful green cart program that recovers the majority of food waste and converts it into compost.
Given the change in composition of waste being landfilled since the late 1990s, as well the success of the municipality’s solid waste program, staff believe the FEP/WSF can be ‘deactivated’ with waste directly landfilled without pre-processing, similar to all other landfills in Nova Scotia, while continuing to operate Otter Lake in an environmentally sound manner with no impacts to the local community.
On July 20, 2021 Regional Council accepted staff recommendations, including to submit an application to NS Environment to deactivate the FEP/WSF. View the staff report here. Note ‘deactivated’ means that the facilities will be maintained such that they can be put back into operations, if needed, as a contingency measure.
Dillon Consulting prepared a Closure Review report that concluded that based on the results of their analysis, the FEP/WSF operations could be deactivated without adverse impacts on the local community and environment.
Note: On July 20, 2021 Regional Council accepted staff recommendations, including to submit an application to NS Environment to deactivate the FEP/WSF. View the staff report here.