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Bristol withdraws support for incinerator

by Sophie Kuijper Dickson
Pontiac
Apr. 8, 2024
Bristol council voted unanimously to retract its previous support for the waste incinerator project being proposed by the MRC Pontiac at its council meeting on Apr. 2.
The decision was met by applause from the dozen or so residents who attended the meeting.
Almost exactly a year ago, the council passed a resolution that supported “establishing an energy from waste facility in the Municipality of Litchfield, serving the Outaouais, the City of Ottawa and Renfrew County.”
On Tuesday evening, Bristol mayor Brent Orr said in the past year, new information has come out that he believes has changed the council’s support for the incinerator.
“I just wanted to bring this to the forefront and see what the feeling was,” he said, noting that when Bristol council had first supported the incinerator, the Municipality of Litchfield had already voted against the incinerator.
“And they were supposed to be the host,” Orr noted.
Councillor Archie Greer was the first to offer his stance on the matter – that council should rescind its previous resolution in support of the incinerator.
“At the time last year there was only one side you could look at, and it did look good,” Greer said. “But after I looked at both sides I saw it’s not as good as what I thought.”
“We don’t really want to be a destination for Ontario’s garbage,” Orr told THE EQUITY when asked what had changed in the past year to incite this reversal of support.
“When [the warden] presented it there were a lot of unknowns. That’s why we voted for it at the time. But now there’s more information and it doesn’t seem all that rosy.”
Orr said he would like to see an environmental study before making any further decisions on the matter, and that he believes any further studies should not be funded by residents of the Pontiac, who would only be contributing 5,000 of the 400,000 tons needed to make the incinerator feasible.
“If it’s that feasible, I think a company should step forward and present,” Orr said. “Not us trying to drum up support from other people.”
Orr also said he believes reducing waste produced in the region by way of composting and recycling programs would be a better way to lower the expense of shipping Pontiac garbage to Lachute for disposal, which, he noted, is still far less expensive than the cost of building and maintaining an incinerator.
Tuesday’s vote was not Bristol’s first move against the incinerator.
In Aug. 2023, Mayor Orr voted against a motion tabled at the MRC Pontiac Council of Mayors to use $100,000 of the MRC’s accumulated surplus to pay consulting firm Deloitte to produce a business plan for the project, and again against another motion passed in Oct. 2023, that approved the business proposal and established a single-source contract with Deloitte.
Litchfield, Calumet and Sheen
also vote against incinerator
In a unanimous vote this Monday evening, Litchfield council registered its opposition to the energy-from-waste project and its view that the project should be abandoned immediately. Litchfield was among the municipalities that did not pass a resolution supporting the project last year, nor did it support the Pontiac Council of Mayors motion to authorize the expenditure of MRC funds on the production of a business case for the project.
The municipalities of Calumet Island and Sheenboro, both of which did pass resolutions last year in support of the project, voted to rescind their support at their council meetings also held on Monday evening of this week.
This brings the number of municipalities in MRC Pontiac that have expressed their opposition to the project to eight: Otter Lake, Thorne, Waltham, Clarendon, Bristol, Litchfield, Calumet Island and Sheenboro.

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