Sydney businessman wants to construct incinerator

By Tanya Collier Macdonald
Cape Breton Post
Friday., Apr. 15, 2005

SYDNEY - A local businessman is partnering with a Dartmouth company to incinerate about three per cent of the provinceís biomedical waste.

Wayne Weatherbee, owner of Sydney Memorial Chapel, is planning to construct an incinerator in an undetermined industrial park to burn body tissue and other anatomical waste transported by Medic Delivery Services Ltd.

In a recently tendered contract with the province, Medic Delivery Services Ltd. agreed to collect the waste from Nova Scotia hospitals and treat it at a new facility it will build in the Uniacke Industrial Park outside Sackville. The waste will be shredded, chemically treated and reduced by 90 per cent before being transferred to a landfill site that is scheduled to open in West Hants in January.

However, since 1992, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment have stipulated that anatomical waste (body fluids and body tissue) should be incinerated. Thatís where Weatherbee comes in. He said that most anatomical waste in this region is being burned at an Ontario incinerator, including Newfoundlandís waste. "If itís feasible, we can do it here," he said. He is currently gathering more information on the proposal, including the type of incinerator to be constructed, the location and the cost.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has the contract to burn the provinceís biomedical waste until the end of 2005. The contract wasnít renewed because the municipality has decided to truck its garbage to Guysborough beginning Jan. 1. At that time, the municipal incinerator will be shut down. The facility began operating in July 1987 and was replaced in August 1994. Throughout its operation, environmental activists hammered away at how inefficiently garbage was burned at the facility and that criticism heightened when the biomedical waste was added to the mix.

The incinerator was flagged in 2001, 2002 and again during stack emission tests in 2004 for exceeding provincial regulations for dioxins and furans emissions.