The Environmental Resource Recovery Centre is currently under development at 2976 Horseshoe Valley Road West, Springwater. This facility will house the
Organics Processing Facility (OPF),
Materials Management Facility (MMF), and areas for truck servicing, public education, and space to potentially sort blue box recycling in the future.
Project Update(updated on January 27, 2022)
Ontario Land Tribunal Decision - January 25, 2022
Statement from County of Simcoe Warden George CornellWe applaud the decision by the Ontario Land Tribunal which is an important step forward in the process to develop the County's Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC).
Siting a waste facility will always be a challenging process; however, this decision validates the significant planning, engineering, environmental and scientific studies/evaluation that went into the selection of this rural site located on Horseshoe Valley Road in a small section of the County's Freele Forest Tract.
As this project started in 2016, the urgent need to create local organics processing and materials management capacity has increased. County landfills are reaching capacity, our population is increasing, as a society we're producing more waste, the costs of outsourcing and contracting waste services is rising and investment in diversion and organics programs are becoming a necessity.
This is an important decision; however as the Tribunal pointed out, further approvals and processes are required from multiple levels of government before the project can proceed. We look forward to working with these, and with interested members of the public, going forward.
About the project:
- Located in a rural area with distance from community developments: The buildings and infrastructure will take up just 5 per cent of the 207-acre Freele Tract County-owned property, with 95 per cent of the forest and trees remaining untouched to provide additional buffers. The County is committed to seeing that the trees that have been removed will be compensated for. The facility footprint avoids environmental impacts to ground water and surface water features and is not located on prime agricultural land. The site is also centrally located in the county with strong access to local and regional road networks.
- Supporting the local economy: The development of the ERRC will create more than 100 direct and indirect local jobs in construction, the trades and solid waste management, and will save taxpayers approximately $1.6 million per year in waste transfer and haulage costs. End products such as fertilizers will be sold to the local agricultural sector.
- Helping the environment: The Province has set aggressive targets of 70 per cent food waste reduction by 2023. The ERRC will support these goals while also assisting the County with its own diversion targets, with a design capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year. Currently, the County hauls organic green bin materials to a processing facility in Elmira each day. The County is currently travelling 3600km/week trucking organics for processing. The Tribunal decision recognized that the ERRC will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from currently hauling organic materials outside the County and save costs long term.
– County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell
(updated on June 25, 2021)
Development of the County's Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) continues. Since 2012, the County of Simcoe has been working on the ERRC to ensure that we have the necessary waste management infrastructure in place for our next curbside collection contract in 2022 and support the Province's long-term waste goals. In November 2016, the County initiated a County Official Plan Amendment 2 (COPA2) and submitted applications to the Township of Springwater for Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments for 2976 Horseshoe Valley Road West, Springwater. The required information was also provided to the appropriate Provincial ministries, agencies, and Aboriginal communities for their respective review and comment. The Province approved COPA2 for the proposed ERRC on November 30, 2018. On January 2, 2019, notification was received from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) regarding their approval of COPA 2. Three (3) appeals were submitted in January 2019 and are now being addressed through the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The appeals to the ERRC generally address the following:
- Site Selection
- Natural heritage/environmental
- Noise and odour
The Province's approval of COPA 2 was based on extensive studies and documentation selecting this as the best site for this facility. The Province further provided its support for the ERRC project by providing transition provisions within the Growth Plan to allow for the approval of the project. The appellants' concerns with regard to the siting of the ERRC and natural heritage have been addressed through the technical studies. The remaining concerns with regard to traffic and noise can only be dealt with through the more detailed Township of Springwater Site Plan approval process and the Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) process. The ECA process does allow for extensive public participation.
On January 21, 2021 the first Case Management Conference (CMC) was held for the consolidated matters of COPA2 and Local Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-Law Amendment. At this CMC, hearing dates for both matters were scheduled for September 2021 and November 2021. This lengthy delay was caused by a judicial challenge that had been made by one of the appellants to an interim decision of the LPAT. The court decision has now been provided, and the hearing can go ahead on those dates.
On November 24, 2020 County staff provided a progress report to the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF) Committee meeting acknowledging that the County would not be able to meet its obligations under Milestone 3 by meeting the deadline of December 2020 due to the delays in the planning and approvals process. The CIF Committee authorized a final grant extension contingent on the MMF being fully operational by December 31, 2023; however, as a result of the scheduled hearing dates the County will not be able to meet its obligations under Milestone 3 and will not be able to have the project completed and operational by the end of 2023. On May 18, 2021, the County was notified by the CIF that funding was terminated, which has resulted in a grant loss of $1,965,162. The County was able to keep $222,678 of grant funding from completing various activities under Milestone 1 and 2.
Following the LPAT process, even further environmental and land use planning approvals are required, which could take years. However, the ERRC is an important environmentally conscious, fiscally responsible and sustainable solution to meet our growing waste needs, and the County is committed to completing these steps.
Additional information can be found in the most recent staff report(s) for this project:
About the ERRC
The ERRC is an important project to provide certainty on organics processing costs and capacity for the next 30 years and protect taxpayers from cost escalation. The development of the ERRC will create more than 100 direct and indirect local jobs in construction, the trades and solid waste management, and will save taxpayers approximately $1.6 million per year in waste transfer and haulage costs. The Province has set aggressive targets of 70 per cent food waste reduction by 2023. The ERRC will support these goals while also assisting the County with its own diversion targets, with a design capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year. Currently, the County hauls organic green bin materials to a processing facility in Elmira each day. The County is currently travelling 3600km/week trucking organics for processing. The ERRC will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from currently hauling organic materials outside the County and save costs long term. Using just 5% of the 207-acre Freele Tract, with 95% of the forest remaining untouched, the County has already completed a compensation plan and replanted forest in Springwater at a 3:1 ratio (40 acres) as compensation for the future cleared area. This has added new forest area to the County's 33,000 acre forest network (which is the largest municipally-owned forest in Ontario). The facility footprint avoids environmental impacts to ground water and surface water features and is not located on prime agricultural land.
- Details on the land use planning approval process can
be found on the County’s Planning webpage.
Inquiries regarding this project can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively
Service Simcoe Contact Centre at (705) 735-6901.