Province optimistic new biomedical waste contract will soon be in place
By Tanya Collier Macdonald
Cape Breton Post
Tues., Nov. 22, 2005
Sydney - As the final days for the municipal incinerator draw near, the
Nova Scotia government is optimistic it will sign a new biomedical waste
contract by December. "Everything is going as expected," said Sherri
Aikenhead, spokesperson for the provincial Health Department. "We'll be
starting the new process in December as planned."
Aikenhead said the new contractor Medical Waste Management Inc. is in the
process of completing environmental and regulatory requirements.
"We're optimistic," said Aikenhead.
More details about the contract will be announced in December.
Medical Waste Management Inc. was the province's second choice following
the original tendering process.
The winner, Medic Delivery Inc., a Dartmouth courier company, failed to
meet several deadlines in the initial agreement prompting the province to
Negotiations with Medical Waste Management of Brampton, Ont., began in
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality's incinerator, located on Grand Lake
Road in Sydney, handled the province's biomedical waste since 1997. The
contract, which will end with the facility's closure Dec. 31, was valued
at $1 million annually.
The municipality has come under fire for not meeting provincial emission
limits for dioxins and furans. Most recently, during stack test results
taken in June, the levels of dioxins and furans were more than double the
province's allowable limit.
The Department of Environment and Labour instructed the municipality to
repeat its stack test emissions after failing an annual two-week test burn
in June 2004.
The additional testing followed modifications totalling $10,000 aimed at
improving dioxin and furan emissions. Although the work did improve
outcomes slightly, emission samples taken in June showed the stacks still
emitted 171 picograms per metre cubed of dioxins and furans instead of the
allowable limit of 80 picograms.
Adele Poirier, spokesperson for the Environment Department, said the
facility can continue to operate but the department is asking the
municipality to confirm the incinerator is closing by Dec. 31. There was
no decision to close the incinerator when the second round of testing was
requested by the department.