Incinerator to be probed
By Tanya Collier, Cape Breton Post, February 10, 1999
The Nova Scotia Environment Department is
investigating the burning of biomedical waste at the
Lawrence MacDonald, regional manager, said the
investigation was sparked immediately after a
Cape Breton Post story published Friday reported
biomedical waste was appearing in the Cape
Breton Regional Municipality incinerator’s landfill.
The information was presented to the Post by
Marlene Kane, a concerned citizen and a member
of the Joint Action Group (JAG). She provided
photographs of used syringes, blood product
containers and additional unidentifiable hospital
products in the midst of rubbish at the facility’s
“It certainly raised some eyebrows,” said
The department will interview Kane, along with staff
and management at the incinerator, which is
located on Grand Lake Road.
“There is a lot of information we have to gather.”
MacDonald said the department will not force the
incinerator to shut down during the investigation
The department hopes to have enough information
by next week to provide an evaluation concerning
the burning of biomedical waste at the facility.
MacDonald said he was pleased Mayor David
Muise is supporting an investigation into the
Test C.B. incinerator, mayor tells
Halifax Chronicle Herald, February 10, 1999
SYDNEY - Cape Breton Regional Mayor David Muise wants the
provincial Environment Department to test the municipality's
"We want to be sure that all material going through the incinerator
is treated and disposed of in a manner that will not be harmful to
the environment or the public," he said Tuesday.
The mayor called for the investigation after last week's media
reports of unburned biomedical waste being found among the
smouldering ash at the incinerator.
In the debris were blood-filled syringes, operating scrubs,
canisters of hospital fluids and a doctor's mask. A local activist
toting a video camera walked onto the site in January and filmed
the unburned material.
The burners run at very high temperatures, "and the ash is
disposed of in a properly engineered, lined landfill cell," Mr. Muise
said. "But we want the Department of the Environment to review
our system and processes to ensure that all waste is being
The review is expected to begin immediately, and the incinerator
will continue operating.
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