Simcoe County has cleared another hurdle in its path to create a green waste processing facility in Springwater.
The optimism comes as a result of the provincial government recently granting permission for changes in the county’s land use policy that would allow such a facility to exist on the proposed site.
The organics processing facility, earmarked for an 84-hectare site on Horseshoe Valley Rd. W. north of Barrie, will be located on county forest land. Aside from housing an organics plant, the site would also host a materials management facility that will be used to collect and transfer regular garbage and recycling materials.
The county believes the plan provides the best opportunity to mitigate future waste costs by handling such services locally instead of it being shipped to outside agencies in other municipalities for processing. It believes the Springwater site will have the least minimal impact on residents and the environment and will also be necessary to handle anticipated population growth in the area.
The plan, however, has been met with some opposition from those in Springwater who are concerned with the destruction of a forested area as well as unanticipated environmental impacts such as increased traffic, noise, odours and pollution.
Simcoe County estimated that costs for the project could reach $50 million, but would eventually lead to annual savings as they bring the services entirely in-house.
With the news of Queen’s Park approval at this stage of the process, Simcoe County plans to continue to work on local land use changes required by the Township of Springwater as well as to conduct additional studies to support the development of the site. Even with all approvals, there is no time frame for the begining of the project.