Hamilton takes over pet waste collection after dispute with contractor

News Jan 23, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s pilot dog waste project has been stalled after city officials discovered the pet waste was being incinerated rather than recycled.

Last year the city contracted with Sutera, a subsidiary of Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. in Waterloo, to install three underground concrete chambers at Bayfront Park, Hill Street dog park and Grove Cemetery to collect pet waste. Above ground there is a distinctive green structure with a small hole that allows people to deposit pet waste.

But Craig Murdoch, director of environmental services, recently said the contract with Sutera has been stopped after the city discovered the pet waste was being incinerated.

Murdoch said there was an indication from the contractor the pet waste would be recycled.

He said the city is continuing to collect the pet waste, but there are no plans to expand the project. Murdoch said discussions have been continuing with Sutera about pet waste collection.

“We are not cancelling the project,” said Murdoch. “We are working with the supplier.”

Bill Higgins, director of business development for Sutera, confirmed the contract with the city has been suspended.

“It’s a shame,” he said. “Other communities are using (the service).”

He said there was first a problem with travelling to Hamilton to collect enough pet waste to make it economical. He said they solved the issue by creating a route that included collection stops in Hamilton and Cambridge.

Higgins said a subcontractor used a vacuum truck to suck up the pet waste from the storage facility. It had been trucked to a facility in Waterloo or to a waste transfer station where the plastic bags are shredded. At the time Higgins said the pet waste was put into a container where it was turned into fertilizer and electricity.

Higgins confirmed that the pet waste that had been collected before the agreement with the city was suspended was being incinerated. The idea had been to drop the waste at the Kitchener bio-digester. But after capacity at a Kitchener-Waterloo digester was filled, the company was unable to locate another digester or transfer station to collect or take the hundreds of gallons of pet waste that it collected.

“You can’t store (the pet waste),” he said. “It has to be off-loaded to a transfer station.”

Higgins said he told city officials about the issue late last fall.

Murdoch said city officials still collect the pet waste from the storage containers, shredding the bags and then depositing the material into the Glanbrook Landfill site.

Higgins said a possible resolution could happen this year with Sutera reaching an agreement with a company that is building a bio-digester in the Greater Toronto Area. He would not disclose the location.

He encouraged city officials to be patient. When the contract was established with Hamilton last year, Higgins said there was “never a guarantee” the waste wouldn’t be incinerated.

Higgins said Hamilton has been the only municipality that has raised the issue about incineration rather than recycling. Sutera has been successfully collecting pet waste in other municipalities including Kitchener and Mississauga where 900-gallon tankers have been collecting the material.

Higgins said in an earlier interview Waterloo diverted nearly eight tonnes of dog waste from the landfill during its pilot project. He also earlier said the waste was generating electricity.

Hamilton officials, who called the program a “success” after eight months of the year-long pilot project, said 1.92 metric tons of pet waste had been diverted from the city’s landfill site, removing about 0.23 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Hamilton councillors have praised the pilot project, including Mountain Coun. Tom Jackson who called it “noble,” while Stoney Creek Coun. Maria Pearson said she was “encouraged” by the collection.

“We were saddened it wasn’t being recycled,” she said.

The project started in 2017 and so far, an estimated 60 containers have been installed by municipalities and private property owners. One container can accommodate about 500 kilograms of pet waste.

The pet waste is kept cool underground, eliminating the odour that has prompted criticisms from nearby residents.

The cost for one container is about $4,000. With three containers for Hamilton the price tag was about $11,000, according to city officials. Operating cost for three facilities is about $15,600.

Hamilton puts pet waste project on hold after dispute with contractor

News Jan 23, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s pilot dog waste project has been stalled after city officials discovered the pet waste was being incinerated rather than recycled.

Last year the city contracted with Sutera, a subsidiary of Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. in Waterloo, to install three underground concrete chambers at Bayfront Park, Hill Street dog park and Grove Cemetery to collect pet waste. Above ground there is a distinctive green structure with a small hole that allows people to deposit pet waste.

But Craig Murdoch, director of environmental services, recently said the contract with Sutera has been stopped after the city discovered the pet waste was being incinerated.

Murdoch said there was an indication from the contractor the pet waste would be recycled.

He said the city is continuing to collect the pet waste, but there are no plans to expand the project. Murdoch said discussions have been continuing with Sutera about pet waste collection.

“We are not cancelling the project,” said Murdoch. “We are working with the supplier.”

Bill Higgins, director of business development for Sutera, confirmed the contract with the city has been suspended.

“It’s a shame,” he said. “Other communities are using (the service).”

He said there was first a problem with travelling to Hamilton to collect enough pet waste to make it economical. He said they solved the issue by creating a route that included collection stops in Hamilton and Cambridge.

Higgins said a subcontractor used a vacuum truck to suck up the pet waste from the storage facility. It had been trucked to a facility in Waterloo or to a waste transfer station where the plastic bags are shredded. At the time Higgins said the pet waste was put into a container where it was turned into fertilizer and electricity.

Higgins confirmed that the pet waste that had been collected before the agreement with the city was suspended was being incinerated. The idea had been to drop the waste at the Kitchener bio-digester. But after capacity at a Kitchener-Waterloo digester was filled, the company was unable to locate another digester or transfer station to collect or take the hundreds of gallons of pet waste that it collected.

“You can’t store (the pet waste),” he said. “It has to be off-loaded to a transfer station.”

Higgins said he told city officials about the issue late last fall.

Murdoch said city officials still collect the pet waste from the storage containers, shredding the bags and then depositing the material into the Glanbrook Landfill site.

Higgins said a possible resolution could happen this year with Sutera reaching an agreement with a company that is building a bio-digester in the Greater Toronto Area. He would not disclose the location.

He encouraged city officials to be patient. When the contract was established with Hamilton last year, Higgins said there was “never a guarantee” the waste wouldn’t be incinerated.

Higgins said Hamilton has been the only municipality that has raised the issue about incineration rather than recycling. Sutera has been successfully collecting pet waste in other municipalities including Kitchener and Mississauga where 900-gallon tankers have been collecting the material.

Higgins said in an earlier interview Waterloo diverted nearly eight tonnes of dog waste from the landfill during its pilot project. He also earlier said the waste was generating electricity.

Hamilton officials, who called the program a “success” after eight months of the year-long pilot project, said 1.92 metric tons of pet waste had been diverted from the city’s landfill site, removing about 0.23 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Hamilton councillors have praised the pilot project, including Mountain Coun. Tom Jackson who called it “noble,” while Stoney Creek Coun. Maria Pearson said she was “encouraged” by the collection.

“We were saddened it wasn’t being recycled,” she said.

The project started in 2017 and so far, an estimated 60 containers have been installed by municipalities and private property owners. One container can accommodate about 500 kilograms of pet waste.

The pet waste is kept cool underground, eliminating the odour that has prompted criticisms from nearby residents.

The cost for one container is about $4,000. With three containers for Hamilton the price tag was about $11,000, according to city officials. Operating cost for three facilities is about $15,600.

Hamilton puts pet waste project on hold after dispute with contractor

News Jan 23, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton’s pilot dog waste project has been stalled after city officials discovered the pet waste was being incinerated rather than recycled.

Last year the city contracted with Sutera, a subsidiary of Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc. in Waterloo, to install three underground concrete chambers at Bayfront Park, Hill Street dog park and Grove Cemetery to collect pet waste. Above ground there is a distinctive green structure with a small hole that allows people to deposit pet waste.

But Craig Murdoch, director of environmental services, recently said the contract with Sutera has been stopped after the city discovered the pet waste was being incinerated.

Murdoch said there was an indication from the contractor the pet waste would be recycled.

He said the city is continuing to collect the pet waste, but there are no plans to expand the project. Murdoch said discussions have been continuing with Sutera about pet waste collection.

“We are not cancelling the project,” said Murdoch. “We are working with the supplier.”

Bill Higgins, director of business development for Sutera, confirmed the contract with the city has been suspended.

“It’s a shame,” he said. “Other communities are using (the service).”

He said there was first a problem with travelling to Hamilton to collect enough pet waste to make it economical. He said they solved the issue by creating a route that included collection stops in Hamilton and Cambridge.

Higgins said a subcontractor used a vacuum truck to suck up the pet waste from the storage facility. It had been trucked to a facility in Waterloo or to a waste transfer station where the plastic bags are shredded. At the time Higgins said the pet waste was put into a container where it was turned into fertilizer and electricity.

Higgins confirmed that the pet waste that had been collected before the agreement with the city was suspended was being incinerated. The idea had been to drop the waste at the Kitchener bio-digester. But after capacity at a Kitchener-Waterloo digester was filled, the company was unable to locate another digester or transfer station to collect or take the hundreds of gallons of pet waste that it collected.

“You can’t store (the pet waste),” he said. “It has to be off-loaded to a transfer station.”

Higgins said he told city officials about the issue late last fall.

Murdoch said city officials still collect the pet waste from the storage containers, shredding the bags and then depositing the material into the Glanbrook Landfill site.

Higgins said a possible resolution could happen this year with Sutera reaching an agreement with a company that is building a bio-digester in the Greater Toronto Area. He would not disclose the location.

He encouraged city officials to be patient. When the contract was established with Hamilton last year, Higgins said there was “never a guarantee” the waste wouldn’t be incinerated.

Higgins said Hamilton has been the only municipality that has raised the issue about incineration rather than recycling. Sutera has been successfully collecting pet waste in other municipalities including Kitchener and Mississauga where 900-gallon tankers have been collecting the material.

Higgins said in an earlier interview Waterloo diverted nearly eight tonnes of dog waste from the landfill during its pilot project. He also earlier said the waste was generating electricity.

Hamilton officials, who called the program a “success” after eight months of the year-long pilot project, said 1.92 metric tons of pet waste had been diverted from the city’s landfill site, removing about 0.23 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Hamilton councillors have praised the pilot project, including Mountain Coun. Tom Jackson who called it “noble,” while Stoney Creek Coun. Maria Pearson said she was “encouraged” by the collection.

“We were saddened it wasn’t being recycled,” she said.

The project started in 2017 and so far, an estimated 60 containers have been installed by municipalities and private property owners. One container can accommodate about 500 kilograms of pet waste.

The pet waste is kept cool underground, eliminating the odour that has prompted criticisms from nearby residents.

The cost for one container is about $4,000. With three containers for Hamilton the price tag was about $11,000, according to city officials. Operating cost for three facilities is about $15,600.