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Lincolnville residents left in dark over tire recycling and toxic soil

Accusations of environmental racism continue

by Concerned Citizens of Lincolnville


Lincolnville residents left in dark over tire recycling and toxic soil 

March 15, 2010

The Concerned Citizens of the African Nova Scotian community of Lincolnville, in the Municipality of Guysborough, have for years been fighting against environmental racism regarding the placement of landfills in their community.

Residents are outraged that, yet again, they were not informed about possible new waste in their community, in the form of a tire recycling facility and waste soil.

“The Municipality has not been transparent and accountable regarding the landfill site for the last 4 years,” said Concerned Citizen James Desmond.

Guysborough Warden, Lloyd Hines, pushed for a review of the decision to award a tire recycling contract, covering all of Nova Scotia's waste tires, to another Municipality, Goodwood, in the Halifax Regional Municipality. As revealed in the Antigonish Casket on February 9th, Hines felt that the tires should go to the community “who is operating a second-generation landfill and is very experienced in these matters (and) was prepared to do it.”

Despite the fact that it was revealed on March 15th that the decision to go with Goodwood will stay, the Concerned Citizens have not been impressed at how the process unfolded.

“We were assured by Mr. Hines that they would keep the community informed about any further development around the landfill. No one was informed that Mr. Hines was going to continue to lobby for the tire recycling contract.”, explained Mr. Desmond. 

Residents are also concerned about how the community is being portrayed.

“(Mr. Hines) was also implying that the Guysborough community was in favour. What community was he referring to?”, commented Basil MacLellan, another Concerned Citizen

Residents of Goodwood have already expressed concern over fires and runoff waste resulting from a tire recycling facility

“If it’s a risk to Goodwood, including fire, there are risks to our area and that adds to what is already happening with the landfill. The number of methane fires that have taken place at the Guysborough site show that it’s not viable for the tires to go there,” described Mr. MacLellan.

“A representative of the Landfill previously stated to the Concerned Citizens that there would be no toxic waste going to the landfill site,” added Mr. Desmond.

Recently, the community of Lincolnville learned from the media about the Defence Department's plan to remove more than 58,000 tonnes contaminated soil at the former radar base in Cape Breton and have the material placed in a landfill. Mr. Desmond approached the Guysborough Landfill on the issue, stating concerns that Lincolnville residents would be burdened with the waste.

“They were asked about what landfill existed in Cape Breton, aware that Cape Breton waste heads for Guysborough. The response was that they would check into it. An issue of this magnitude should not take 3 weeks for a response,” said Mr. Desmond

“Imagine 58,000 tonnes of contaminated soil, that's like 100 jumbo jets in your backyard,” conveyed Denise Allen, supporter of the Concerned Citizens through the Save Lincolnville Campaign. “Governments are violating their own processes, making deals behind closed doors. They've done it with Africville and their doing it to Lincolnville,” continued Ms. Allen.

But even before these recent moves by the municipality, there were a host of unresolved issues already. It has been 4 years since the Concerned Citizens have asked for information about the 15,000 industrial bags of oil waste that went into the 1st generation landfill site. They have yet to receive an answer. Additionally, in compliance with the closure permit for the 1st generation site, all leachate is supposed to be treated. The Department of Environment claims that what is in the permit is not written in stone. But the overall problem has been the waste itself: the placing of the old landfill there in the 1970s, then adding a larger one beside it in 2006.  

“The recent news is one thing, the fact that residents have had to worry about even more waste. But the original siting of the landfill there in the first place, the original act of environmental racism is where this all started. And what about all the damage that has been done since? All that needs to be accounted for, and the community has not backed down from that point,” said Asaf Rashid, with the Nova Scotia Public Interest research Group, another proponent of the Save Lincolnville campaign.

“No waste should be going into the site without consultation with the community at large,” stated Mr. Desmond.


For more information, please contact:

James Desmond, Concerned Citizens of Lincolnville: (902) – 232 – 3041


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Topics: Environment
750 words

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