The Sault North Waste Management Council (SNWMC) has helped Sault North Residents manage their waste through Ontario’s only volunteer run, completely rural (500 km/week), curbside recycling program. This has been accomplished by writing proposals to funding agencies, applying to foundations, and in one case, obtaining advertising. The only way to run it in the long term is through the tax base. Votes have been held by the two largest Local Services Boards (LSB’s) to support the recycling, but the funds will not be available from the tax base until a year from now (June 2016). SNWMC has run out of funds to sustain recycling until then and recycling will no longer be picked up as of June 1st.
Waste management is a municipal responsibility, but in unincorporated areas like Sault North, no government agency is responsible for providing it and LSB’s are not allowed by legislation to take on developing a new Waste Disposal Site (WDS). If no waste management facilities are available, the Sault North Area will no longer be viable as a community because businesses will be forced to close (Algoma Public Health), and no further land development will be allowed (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing). Private properties and crown land will become dumping grounds again.
The SNWMC with the support of Provincial Government agencies has helped to keep the Havilland WDS open by recycling and reducing the amount of garbage intake. Since the recycling program started in 2007, over 6200 cu yards have been diverted. This effort along with changes to the operations have increased the remaining lifespan of the WDS from less than 1 year to over 20 years.
If bridge funding is not found by the end of June or early July, recycling cannot be restarted. This will also affect the long term plans for recycling through the tax base. It is our understanding that the equipment will be sold and the recycling plant at Havilland will be too costly to operate without a sufficient volume of recyclable materials received to cover the costs of operating and of shipping. That means recyclables would have to go into the landfill. This really is a call for help.
The Sault North Waste Management Council is comprised of volunteers from the unincorporated townships in the non-municipal area North of the City of Sault Ste. Marie (Goulais, Heyden, Batchawana, Searchmont), Batchewana First Nation (observers), and representatives from various provincial ministries, who are working together to develop a long-term waste management program and environmental protection system for the Sault North area which is environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.
Sault North Waste Management
500 Bay Street
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 1X5
Contact: Holly Hughes, Chair
Telephone: (705) 251-6000