Written by Abimbola Badejo, Staff Reporter
The Government of Canada recently announced it was contributing $8.3 million to the upgrade of the waste management system at The Six Nations of the Grand River. The government contribution will go towards funding the closing of an in-community landfill site and construction of a new transfer station at Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation.
The Six Nations Community of the Grand River First Nation is located 20 kilometers southeast of Brantford, Ontario, along the Grand River. The reserve community encompasses about 71 square miles in the northern portion of the province of Ontario, Canada; and the residents manage their own municipal solid waste at a landfill site in the same area.
With dwindling land resources at the Six Nations Reserve, there is the need for a better solid management system so that the available land can be preserved for other uses such as agricultural, residential, commercial and community uses.
In a media release, Chief Ava Hill stated: “The new transfer station will allow us to meet our community’s immediate and future waste management needs which is critical to support our growing and progressive community. Our community has recycled over four million pounds over the last six years with our waste diversion rates increasing year over year. We are committed to diverting as much waste as possible in order to reduce the global waste burden which is negatively impacting our ecosystem, lands, waters and contributing to climate change.”
Besides the $8.3 million invested in the project to date by the Canadian government, an additional $378,188 from Indigenous Services Canada was used in the preliminary feasibility and design phases of the project.
The waste management plan is to build a new transfer station on the existing site that consists of an old landfill and a recycling facility. The transfer station will operate as a temporary solid waste collection site where various material recovery pre-processing activities such as sorting, separation and compaction of metals, cardboard, paper; composting of organics and sorting of plastics can be carried out. These materials may be treated on site if the conversion equipment is available or they may be transported off the reserve for further processing.
The improved solid waste diversion system which focuses more on recycling, composting and hazardous waste programs will not only help to preserve land resources, it will also help to protect sources of drinking water, prevent land contamination, reduce dangerous impacts to the environment, protect the habitat and reduce the risks to human health and safety. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2019.