Elmira is NOT a DUMP

Woolwich Bio-En Inc. has applied to build an anaerobic digester at 40 Martin’s Lane
and is seeking approval from the province. If you agree it’s a bad idea, contact the
Ministry of the Environment and tell them so.  That’s the only way to stop it.

The deadline is Sunday, August 21st, 2010

The flag on the left, “A” is the edge of Riverside Public School; the property is bounded by the William Street at the front, and Riverside at the back. The flag on the right, “B” marks the proposed Bio-En site. Google says the two points are 750 meters or 2 minutes apart.

That’s measuring from the front; the schoolyard in back is closer still. My child attended Riverside Public School, and I served on the PTA and volunteered there for years. I feel sorry for the children who will go there in future if the Bio-En facility is built two minutes away. So much of elementary school life is lived out of doors; recess, phys-ed, track and field, fun fairs, Hallowe’en parades…

It’s half that distance from Bio-En to Bolender Park, the greenspace that is the traditional site of the town’s annual Easter Egg Hunt, school picnics, and family outings. And of course the Kissing Bridge Trail runs right beside the proposed Bio-En Site.

Children gather easter eggs in the park located a minute away from the proposed Bio_En site.

1 minute away from Bio-En: Bolender Park, home of the annual Easter Egg Hunt

I live twice as far away, but there are days I smell the pet food plant adjacent to the proposed Bio-En Site.  If the Bio-En facility is built on this site in this town, it will negatively impact on the quality of life for all the people who live and work in the town of Elmira.

And it will devastate the downtown core. Would you want to take a leisurely stroll down the main drag, buy a camera, rent a movie, pick up a summer sausage or stop for a donut with the smell of compost stuck in your nose?

They say the odour will be contained. Yet they plan to truck the waste through town in open tarpaulin topped trailers.  It will not smell nice.

The settlement of Elmira is small enough that no matter what route they take, the Bio-En trucks will rumble through or alongside residential neighborhoods, churches, stores and schools, including the high school attended by students from all over Woolwich Township.

At the Bio-En plant, the waste will be unloaded. Disturbing waste material and releasing additional mold and compost odors begun in transit into the air. Although we can’t see it with the naked eye, smell is actually made up of particulate matter. We breathing in microscopic bits of whatever we smell.

smell is an important issue

Bad smell sounds frivolous until you have to live with it. When I was a child the name of the town of “Rothsay” was guaranteed to strike terror into our hearts.  Whenever it was our misfortune to have to travel through the town, we’d roll up the car windows, no matter how hot it was, and try valiantly to hold our breath until we came out the other side. I never quite made it. Living in Rothsay would be inconceivable, because bad smells impact heavily on the quality of life. 

No one puts their back yard composter beside the patio table. We even locate our kitchen garbage can away from where we eat. There is good reason city planners don’t situate the garbage dumps in the center of town.

Proximity to a dump site dramatically lowers property values.

If the bad smell isn’t bad enough, the dramatic increase in diesel truck traffic through the town of Elmira will risk residents health and safety at the same time it breaks down the roads. The road repairs of the last few years have really driven home the fact that there are only four roads in and out of town, and all three of the routes to the new facility will go through the center of town.

it isn’t even really “green”

Even though Woolwich council stands in opposition to the project, the authority rests with the Ministry of the Environment, since the Biogas project is supposed to generate “green energy.”
It doesn’t matter that any environmental benefit will be more than wiped out by environmental impact of trucking the waste to Elmira.


The Bio-En folks want us to think it will not smell bad, property values will not plummet, and that there really won’t be very many trucks. If this is true, it’s no problem.

But what if it’s not?

There is a huge difference between a back yard composter and a biogas facility. It’s like the difference between a pig farm, and a factory farm.

There is no remedy in place to compensate residents if this is not true. If the smell proves unacceptable to residents will the Bio_En Facility shut down until it can be remedied? If the smell of the trucks coming through town is too strong, will Bio-En alter the mode of transport to hermetically sealed tankers and add an enclosed “airlock” to the facility for unloading?

Before approving the Bio-En Plant, shouldn’t provision be made for an independent air quality monitoring facility (funded by Bio-En but answering to residents) equipped to measure strong odours both on site and en route to the site?

For the residents who choose to leave the area because of Bio-En, will Bio-En Inc. make up the difference between today’s pre-waste facility property values and what homes will actually sell for when Elmira smells like a dump?

If Bio-En Inc. is unable to compensate residents, will the Provincial Government step in?

Who will compensate residents?

looking down Arthur Street at the tents of the Festival Mall, an area sure to be hit by Bio-En odors

2 minutes away: The downtown core; home of the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

we MUST speak up

If we don’t speak up now (we have until Sunday) we might as well cancel the Syrup Festival, bulldoze our parks and prepare for a shocking drop in property values.

We need to say “no.” To add your voice, you can:

  • call Kristina Rudzki, at the MoE Toll Free (800) 461-6290
  • or email Kristina.Rudzki@ontario.ca
  • Or Fax: 416-314-8452
  • Or you can comment directly on the MOE Website by clicking the comment tab in the right side bar

Be sure to note the EBR registry number: 011-3923

Tell the Provincial Government this is a bad idea; people live in this town.

residents fill up the part at the sunday evening concert at Gore Park

4 minutes away; Bio-En trucks will pass beside Gore Park, Located on Arthur Street

for more information:

Elmira Citizens’ Bio-En Response Group blog:
Stop The Stink

Elmira Independent: Biogas concerns sent to MOE
Woolwich Observer: Biogas debate heats up as comment period starts to wind down


1 Response to “Elmira is NOT a DUMP”

  1. 1 caitlyn February 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    i say no it is right behind my house and i can only cope with the dog food smell

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