The owner of upper Stoney Creek’s Taro industrial dump is adding a fence to berms along two property lines following complaints the waste pile is too visible from the street.
Terrapure Environmental Inc. communications director Greg Jones said the 3.3-metre-high chain link fence is expected to be finished by late January and will include privacy meshing to block views.
It will run along the Upper Centennial Parkway and First Road West perimeters between Green Mountain Road and Mud Street, he said.
Jones said the fence is primarily in response to concerns raised by the area’s city councillor, Doug Conley, and the community liaison committee for the site.
“The market for clean fill is lackluster, so there’s not a lot of it to be had.”
Terrapure had already raised or extended some earth berms in recent months.
“It’s acting on that to improve the visual screening,” Jones said.
The new fence comes as Terrapure is finalizing terms of reference for an environmental assessment on its proposal to increase Taro’s capacity to 10 million cubic metres from an existing limit of 6.32 million.
The plan would raise the dump’s height for a second time, potentially setting a new maximum of 22.5 metres above grade – up from the 14.5 metres allowed by its original 1996 approvals.
It would also roughly double an original waste limit of 10 million tonnes – a cap removed by the Ministry of the Environment in 2005 without any public notice.
Jones said Terrapure will submit the terms of reference to the ministry in January – three months later than initially scheduled.
He said they’ve been ready for a month, but the company held off at the city’s request to avoid having a 30-day public commenting period run into Christmas.
“We were certainly very conscious (of that) and in fact the ministry requires you to avoid the period immediately before and immediately after the holidays,” he said.
Conley and the community liaison committee have publicly opposed the expansion, and the city in September suggested Terrapure’s study should consider an alternative location since half of Taro’s waste comes from outside of Hamilton.
A city staff report also expressed concerns about the plan’s impacts on traffic, noise, drainage, the Niagara Escarpment, the area’s aesthetics and housing developments to the north and south.
It recommended the environmental assessment address that Taro’s proposed new waste footprint will put some planned homes north of Green Mountain Road within a previous 160-metre holding zone the city considers unsuitable for housing.
The city removed the holding zone last year after previous dump owner Newalta Corp. got approval in 2013 to raise Taro’s height by 4.5 metres in return for shrinking its waste footprint by Green Mountain Road by 18 hectares.
Terrapure wants to go back to the original 59.1-hectare footprint and pile waste another three to four metres higher.
Back in 2013, Newalta said it planned to put clean fill in the 18 hectares by Green Mountain Road.
Jones said he didn’t know how much fill has been accepted since then.
“We take clean fill from time to time,” he said. “The market for clean fill is lackluster, so there’s not a lot of it to be had.”