As part of our on-going communication with the community, BFI Canada is trying to respond to all the questions people have posted about the Prairie Sky Resource Centre. Many community members have contacted me through our website, by calling and emailing me, by attending our two Open Houses or during my door-to-door visits. We will continue our community outreach and we are also opening an Information Centre in Blackie where people can drop by to learn more about the project and ask questions. Finally, we will be making experts available to talk to you about your concerns and speak to you directly.
Some people have also expressed concerns on Facebook. Unfortunately, I have not been permitted to respond directly, however, I still feel it is important to answer every concern.
Below is a list of recent issues raised on Facebook and at the June 28th Second Open House. If you have any questions at all, I encourage you to contact me directly. I will be happy to set up a call or a one-on-one meeting with you to talk about your concerns.
June 2011 Frequently Asked Questions
Why did BFI change its name?
We purchased Canadian assets of Browning Ferris Industries in the year 2000. Since then we have made a number of acquisitions, and now have three main brands: BFI Canada, IESI and WSI. We are now rebranding these three brands to Progressive Waste Solutions. This rebranding and renewal of our name reflects how we view waste as a resource. Since our initial acquisition in 2000, we have been proud of BFI Canada’s history of working with our local communities. Prairie Sky Resource Centre is a BFI Canada project and we are proud of that fact, because we are proud of our operations and all our projects. I am a BFI Canada employee and the two positions at the Information Centre will be full-time BFI Canada employees as well, until our rebranding is complete.
Who does BFI Canada report to?
To Alberta Environment, both for initial project approval and through regular monitoring once the site is operational. BFI Canada must adhere to high standards and satisfy Alberta Environment that all safety and community standards are being met. We also rely on community feedback regarding our operations. A direct line of communication is established with the communities in which we do business, to ensure we meet our good neighbour and community partner priorities.
Will local jobs be created?
Yes. In fact, we are currently advertising for the first two positions for the Prairie Sky Resource Centre to staff the Information Centre we are opening in Blackie.
This project will create full-time and well-paid jobs at the site in a variety of fields. We give priority to interested local workers in this area when filling these positions. Additional jobs will be created in the area during the construction and initial development of the site.
As well, this project will create “spin-off” opportunities for local business that will enable them to grow and directly benefit from the Prairie Sky Resource Centre, such as utilizing the postal service, using local trades and buying locally where possible.
Why should we trust the information we are getting?
A project like this always raises questions and concerns, and the best approach is to answer honestly and directly. BFI Canada’s policy has always been to deal with questions head-on and to tell the truth. This is why we have gone door-to-door, held two Open Houses, set up a website where we update information regularly, established a direct phone line and mailed out information packages and responses to your questions. We are also opening an Information Centre this Fall where you can drop in at any time.
It is imperative to BFI Canada that we establish and maintain good relationships in the community. We are committed to listening and answering questions and concerns as well as providing facts to address those concerns. A direct line of communication is always established with the communities in which we do business, to ensure we meet our good neighbour and community partner priorities.
We hope to earn your trust. At the end of the day, though, it is the regulators who will ensure that your concerns have all been adequately addressed. This project will not proceed unless Alberta Environment and other reviewing agencies confirm that the science is valid and all protections are in place.
Who will approve this project?
The M.D. of Foothills and Alberta Environment have to approve this project. Both the municipal government and the provincial government have separate processes and requirements that must be completed and met by BFI Canada in order to obtain approval for the development of the Prairie Sky Resource Centre. Included as a part of these requirements are extensive geological studies, studies of the natural environment, traffic audits and public consultations carried out by BFI Canada. We are currently in the process of conducting studies and further research and will continue to engage with the community every step of the process.
Will this facility increase traffic?
We have heard your concerns about traffic in the area and have already made some potential changes. We are currently in the process of conducting a two stage traffic audit which will include a traffic safety audit and traffic impact assessment, and we will present more solutions to the community. We also heard your concerns about fog and have undertaken another study to survey conditions and make recommendations on improving safety on Highway 23 from its current level. We will share those findings once we have the results of the studies which are expected to be completed this summer.
How will you protect groundwater?
We understand how important groundwater protection is to you, and it is important to us as well. This project will not impact groundwater and aquifers. This site was chosen in large part because of the geology of the property. This site contains natural impermeable clay soils which prevent the penetration of water due to the tightness of the clay. In addition to this, to demonstrate our commitment to protecting water, BFI Canada has decided to incur the expense and exceed the requirements outlined by the Government of Alberta by installing in a synthetic liner. The synthetic liner will last for hundreds of years, many generations after the landfill is closed and decommissioned. As a further precaution, groundwater will be monitored regularly. This project will not impact groundwater or wells in the area.
Is Prairie Sky a recycling centre or a landfill?
Both. Prairie Sky Resource Centre is a proposed integrated waste recovery facility combining modern technology with natural processes to manage waste and recover recyclable resources. This proposed facility will include a recycling centre, composting, waste disposal operations and an environmental and resource recovery education centre. This project is part of a larger infrastructure plan to meet Alberta’s Too Good to Waste strategy.
Will Prairie Sky accept Strathmore’s waste?
No, Prairie Sky will not accept Strathmore’s waste.
Will Prairie Sky accept animal renderings?
No, Prairie Sky will not accept animal renderings and dead stock.
What will you do to mitigate dust?
BFI Canada will have a water truck on site at all times ensuring that dust is controlled and any potential nuisances associated with dust are mitigated.
Are contaminated soils hazardous waste?
No. This site will not accept hazardous waste. In fact our company does not deal in hazardous waste. This site will accept primarily dry industrial-commercial wastes, of which 50% to 60% will be non-hazardous soils. BFI Canada has strict guidelines for what it can and cannot accept.
When will the Information Centre open?
The Prairie Sky Information Centre is slated to open this Fall. We have already advertised for two positions, the first of a number of new jobs and economic activity that this project will bring to the local community.