The Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation recognizes the importance of environmental protection and enhancement, and is committed to providing leadership in solid waste management for the communities in which it serves.
The corporation will take the initiative to act as an advocate for responsible waste management in the context of environmental protection, social acceptability and economic feasibility. The Corporation will pursue its activities while developing harmonious relationships with our clients and the public at large.
Objectives: The Mission Statement will be supported by objectives indicating specific actions the Corporation will undertake.
(1) Apply the principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to guide our actions and provide means to achieve our goals;
(2) Establish and operate a waste management facility which will maximize diversion of materials from landfill and minimize environmental impact;
(3) Integrate environmental considerations into our planning and decision-making process;
(4) Identify, assess and manage environmental risks associated with our operation, to reduce the potential of adverse effects;
(5) Comply with the applicable legal and regulatory requirements, and strive to develop and adopt more stringent standards, to protect our employees and the communities;
(6) Establish a formal Environmental Protection Plan, setting measurable goals and including regular audits, to assure regulatory requirements and program goals are met;
(7) Work as advocates with our clients, sub-contractors and suppliers to jointly achieve the highest possible environmental standards;
(8) Establish liaison and regular communication with our clients, the public, local governing bodies, the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors of the region, to keep them informed of our planning and operations and of potential impact on their operations;
(9) Provide public reports and if required, consultation on our plans and operations, to help build a popular consensus on waste management issues and strategies;
(10) Encourage and participate in the development, and where appropriate, in the execution programs to achieve waste reduction and diversion in the operations of our clients and the public;
(11) Build relationships with the environmental stakeholders to promote the development and communication of innovative solutions to waste management issues.
The beginnings of a regional solid waste management program in Westmorland and Albert counties can be traced back to the latter part of 1987. The need for such a program was felt at the provincial level, where a waste management strategy was developed. The strategy aimed to close over 200 provincial dumps, and replace them with environmentally friendly regional facilities. Initiatives by the municipalities of Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe lead to the formation of a nominating committee. In February of 1988, the Provisional Committee for Westmorland-Albert was formed.
After four years of careful planning, extensive consultation, and environmental impact assessments, the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation (WASWC) was formed on April 6, 1992. In order to oversee the corporation, board members were appointed to represent the nine Electoral Districts of Westmorland and Albert counties, and two members were appointed at large. The construction for the facility began in early August 1992, and began operating on November 30, 1992. By early 1993, all of the 21 polluting dumps had closed their operations.
In 1993, WASWC started to undertake a number of practices to divert waste from the landfill. This included the recycling of wood waste, tires, metal and appliances. In June of 1993, a pilot project was initiated on composting yard waste, and a composting demonstration site was established. In this first full year of operation, the Corporation was able to divert over 6500 tonnes (about 7% of the total waste stream) from entering the landfill. The first annual Household Hazardous Waste Day was initiated, and many thousands of tonnes of material were sidetracked from entering the landfill. In the fall, a Request for Proposals was issued to design, finance, build and operate composting and recycling facilities. The year of 1993 also saw the beginning of the scales management and tipping fees collection system for WASWC. Waste had never been weighed in the area before the introduction of WASWC’s system.
In October of 1994, after eight proposals were reviewed TIRU (NB) Inc. took over the operational responsibility of the site, which included the landfill, leachate treatment and monitoring systems. By the summer of 1995, the construction of a new sorting-recycling-composting complex began. In October, the construction was complete and the new facility was fully operational. This was in an effort to maximize efficiency, profitability and quality of product. By the end of the year, the site had reached 46 full-time employees. In the spring of 1995, Kent County began shipping their waste to the Berry Mills facility. Later in the year, Kings County followed suit. With amendments to the Clean Environment act the number of board members increased from 11 to 18.
By 1996, 30% of waste was being diverted from the landfill, and WASWC provided employment for 60 people. Atlantic Industrial and Elmtree Environmental opened new facilities on WASWC property in order to process hazardous waste and treat contaminated soil. Along with the items that had already been sent for recycling, WASWC also added newsprint, cardboard, boxboard, office and school paper, tin cans, aluminum beverage containers, metals, plastic beverage containers, and rigid plastic containers. Compost was also produced for on-site purposes.
The previous 3 years had been met with many challenges. On October 27, 1997 WASWC took possession of the facility and implemented a transition team. The team was successful in maintaining the level of service during the transition period. WASWC initiated battery drop-off centers in many areas of the regions.
During 1998, it was recommended that WASWC implement a policy to receive waste in two separate streams, one wet and one dry, in order to facilitate plant operations. The year was spent mostly on refitting the plant to accommodate the waste in accordance with the new separation strategy.
May 31, 1999 was the dry plant start-up date, and waste came in blue transparent bags from households in Moncton, Dieppe, Riverview and Sackville. An intense education program commenced in order to educate the public about the new program. In August of 1999, the wet plant began operations. Waste in green transparent bags was put through the new plant. The official opening was carried out on November 12, 1999. A Household Hazardous Waste depot was constructed on site, and operating one day per week to accommodate any hazardous waste materials from the residential sector.
In July of 2000, the milk carton recycling program commenced, and milk cartons were removed from the regular waste stream. With the cooperation of the New Brunswick Dairy Council, WAWSC was able send the milk cartons to market with no additional cost to consumers. The Wet/Dry Program saw a dramatic increase in participation. Kings and Kent Counties made an agreement to start their Wet/Dry Program in 2001.
By 2001, 85% of residents in Westmorland and Albert counties were participating in the Wet/Dry Program. A curbside sneaker recycling program was implemented through Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program. In September of 2001, with the grant received from the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, a computer recycling program was implemented, diverting a large amount of “E-Waste” from the landfill. WAWSC became the first in Canada to sign on to “Charge Up To Recycle” with RBRC, a rechargeable battery recycling program.
In 2002, a Wet/Dry Education Centre and sneaker storage facility was constructed. In conjunction with the City of Moncton’s City Hall School program, classroom visits commenced on the site. WASWC was able to present 10 scholarships of $500.00 to graduating high school students pursuing educational paths related to the environment. WASWC introduced sneaker recycling drop-off depots in different locations in Moncton, providing residents easy access to sneaker recycling. On Earth Day of 2002, WASWC teamed up with Tim Hortons for a coffee cup recycling program, diverting the hot beverage cups from entering the landfill. In the summer of 2002, WASWC teamed up with Sounds Fantastic in order to repair cell phones for reuse. The cell phones recovered from the dry waste are programmed to dial 911, and donated to people in need.
WASWC was honored with 2 national awards in 2003. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Award was received in May. During Waste reduction week in October, the Corporation was presented with the National Community Recycling Leadership Award. WASWC was recognized for this award through the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation. Through the 3Rs Incentive Program, the Corporation was able to offer 9 Municipalities and Local Service Districts rebates for being under the national average for waste disposal. On April 21st, Guy LaFleur visited Moncton in order to launch 12 local fire departments’ commitments to the “Charge-up to Recycle” Rechargeable Battery Recycling Program. In October, Forest Glen School became the first Wet/Dry School in the region. The first of it’s kind in Atlantic Canada, an Electronic Recycling Program was initiated with funding from the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund. On August 11, the Corporation held their launch of the Milk Carton Recycling Program. Although the Corporation had been recycling milk cartons since 2000, this event marked the first shipment of milk cartons to be sent for recycling through the NB Milk Dealers Association Milk Carton Recycling Agreement. In November, the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund announced their support for a Westmorland-Albert Electronic Recycling Program. Awarded $62,000 to implement an electronic recycling initiative, the Corporation was able to begin the program in January 2004. The Westmorland-Albert Electronic Recycling Initiative will serve as the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada. During the summer, waste hauler FERO committed to a 6-month Wet/Dry Pilot Project to over 200 of their customers in the I.C.I. (Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional) sectors. Within three months, the pilot project recorded 50% participation. With education performed by the Community Relations Department to non-participants, the ICI Wet/Dry Program was able to reach 90% participation by December.
The Corporation celebrated the 5th Anniversary of the Wet/Dry Program in 2004 and a new logo was launched. In the Summer, the Corporation was fortunate to receive $40,000 from the New Brunswick Environment Trust Fund for the development and operation of a community events recycling vehicle. This vehicle attended many community events in our region and provided participants with an opportunity to recycle plastic redeemable containers, cans and Tim Hortons coffee cups. The Recycling Vehicle was very well received. In the Fall, the Corporation received Silver honors for the 2004 Canadian Environment Awards – Sustainable Living Category. An article on the Corporation was included in the Canadian Geographic. To increase the amount of recyclables removed from the Dry waste, another Sorting Station was installed at the south end of the Dry Plant. This enabled staff to monitor all rejected materials leaving the Dry Plant and retrieve any items that may have been missed in the other Sorting Station. Additional jobs were created in the Dry Plant as a result of this change. On February 27, 2004 the Official Electronic Recycling Launch was held. At launch time, two shipments of electronics had been sent to Noranda for recycling. In November 2004, Mount Allison University launched the commencement of the Wet/Dry Program for their campus. This was very exciting for the Corporation and the Town of Sackville. Three schools in District #1 piloted the Wet/Dry Program for six weeks beginning May 10th, 2004. At the beginning of the 2004 school year, two additional schools were added to the program.