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Incinerator able to burn more waste

A recent emergency amendment will allow the Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC) to process an additional 20,000 tonnes of garbage this year, up to a total of 160,000 tonnes, due to an increase in curbside garbage collection.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The Durham York Energy Centre (DYEC) can now process more garbage after an emergency amendment.

The emergency amendment was approved for the Environmental Compliance Approval which will allow the facility to process an additional 20,000 tonnes of garbage until Dec. 31, 2020.

This means the facility will be able to process a total of 160,000 tonnes of waste this year under the emergency amendment.

“What happened was, we noticed there was a significant increase in the tonnage being collected at the curbside and at the waste management facilities,” explains Gioseph Anello, Durham Region’s acting director of waste management. “In order for us to process that, we’d have to start running the plant at the higher rate of processing.”

He says they normally run the plant at about 90 per cent of it’s processing capacity per day because they’re restricted by the annual amount of 140,000 tonnes every year.

“If we could operate at more than 90 per cent per day, then we would be exceeding this annual limit,” he says.

He explains they had to ask the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to give them the emergency amendment in the event it’s needed in the future.

He says it’s a precautionary request which recognizes the increased amount of garbage they’re dealing with as a result of COVID-19.

Anello says the facility has two boilers which can process 218 tonnes, meaning they can process 436 tonnes of waste each day at 100 per cent capacity.

He notes while the amount of garbage per person is decreasing, there is an increasing number of people coming to and moving to the region, which ultimately increases the amount of garbage produced each year.

These are unprecedented times, according to Anello, and he believes the DYEC has taken the steps necessary to properly provide this “essential service,” and it was done in an “environmentally responsible way.”