Complaint forces dump closure

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  • Jun. 14, 2011 5:00 p.m.

TREENA MIELKE/Rimbey Review

Work at Rimbey’s waste transfer site has been put on hold temporarily until the town receives clearance from Alberta Environment.

CAO Tony Goode told council June 8 he has been working closely with Alberta Environment since a complaint was received that metal was being buried at the transfer site.

“They said a complaint had been received and they were told we had dug a 12-foot pit and were burying metal out there,” he said.

Goode said these allocations were greatly exaggerated.

“We dug a three-foot pit to dispose of debris left from the old burn pit. We did this because environment was concerned because the water was pooled there. It seemed pretty straightforward to me. It made perfect sense.”

The CAO said the majority of the metal at the recycling depot has been hauled away.

“A local company has taken 90 per cent of the metal which we inherited when we took over the site. There was a great deal of metal disposed at the site for a number of years. And there may be some metal mixed in with the ash and tree stumps and small pieces of wood that we are burying. But there is nothing going in there that is going to leach into the town’s water supply.”

Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson was aware of the complaint.

“We have nothing to hide. We weren’t burying metal.”

Larry Hansen confirmed he goes out to the site weekly to pick up all the metal and hauls it away for recycling.

However, Rimbey resident Dennis Pendergast believes the town has dug a pit to dispose of the metal.

“I’m concerned that it is going to contaminate our water system,” he said prior to the meeting. “There was a whole lot of metal there before that is not there now and I know they didn’t haul it away. It’s a cheap way of cleaning it up.”

Pendergast said the pit is about 45 paces long and 13 paces wide.

“It’s not right what they are doing. It’s totally disgusting. They are supposed to be environmentally friendly and they’re doing this.”

Goode said he has invited a representative from Alberta Environment to come out to the site to check out the activity going on there, but has had no response.

However, debris from the old burn pit at the transfer site is now being hauled to Bluffton.

Goode said permission has been received from Ponoka County to carry out this practice.

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