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First Site 41, now the Zorra landfill

Oxford People Against the Landfill (OPAL) and the Oxford Coalition for Social Justice are fighting to stop the Walker Environmental Group’s proposed Zorra landfill site near Ingersoll (which is located about 160 kilometres south-west of Toronto). The two groups are organizing an Earth Day conference – featuring Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow – that will take place on Saturday April 26 in Ingersoll.

The 200-acre Zorra landfill site would receive garbage from all over Ontario. The site would be located in a mined-out portion of a quarry owned by Carmeuse Lime in Zorra Township on the boundary with Ingersoll and near the Thames River. It would operate for 20 years, but it could be expanded to continue to take garbage after that time. There would be an estimated 100 trucks daily dumping a total of 3500 tons of garbage. The trucks would travel on Highway 401 to County Road 6 and then possibly on Road 66 to the site. The company is also reportedly examining if moving the garbage by rail to the site is a viable option or not. The community has raised concerns about the pollution of local drinking water, the odor from the garbage, toxins and dust in the air, and the number of garbage trucks this would put on the road.

Walker Environmental has promised to be responsible stewards of the environment and would pay Zorra Township a reported $4 million a year in tipping fees.

In October 2013, Oxford County council unanimously passed a resolution that would prevent new landfills that accept garbage from outside the county from setting up. If the official plan is eventually amended to keep outside waste from Oxford County, it is widely expected that Walker Environmental will appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. Earlier this week, Ingersoll council voted to establish a $25,000 fund so that an alliance of community groups can escalate its fight against the landfill proposal.

Almost five years ago now, the Council of Canadians participated in the campaign that stopped the proposed Site 41 landfill site in Tiny Township in Simcoe County that would have endangered the Alliston aquifer underneath the garbage dump.

Barlow has stated, “Across Ontario people are standing up to protect their communities from unwanted industrial mega-projects like the Walker dump. We helped stop Site 41, we helped stopped the Melancthon mega-quarry, and we will help stop this ridiculous proposal to put a dump in a quarry.”

Ingersoll mayor fights potential mega landfill
A Joint Statement by the Mayors of Zorra Township, the Town of Ingersoll, and the Township of South West Oxford
Walkers Landfill proposal Update
Ingersoll funds alliance in landfill site
Council of Canadians opposes landfill in Oxford County