Before I was elected Ward 5 Councillor, the Region of Peel approved the development of the Peel Energy Recovery Centre (PERC) – a massive waste incinerator located on the Brampton-Mississauga border.

I had serious concerns about PERC because of its potential impact on the community of Malton, particularly in regards to increased truck traffic through already-congested routes as garbage trucks carried waste from all over Peel to the incinerator.

Fortunately, Peel Regional Council had a change of heart in October, voting to improve the Region’s waste diversion measures – keeping recycling and organics out of the garbage stream – to make the incinerator unnecessary and uneconomical.

Right now, the Sierra Club of Canada estimates that only half of our waste is actually combustible – 10 per cent is metal, which could be recycled, and 40 per cent is food scraps, which require an enormous amount of energy to burn. Our primary goal should be to reduce our environmental impact by keeping these items out of the trash, before we invest hundreds of millions of dollars into an incinerator that would also increase truck traffic through Malton.

Airport and Derry Roads already make up a huge percentage of the daily truck volume in the Region of Peel. The average daily truck volume along Airport Rd. is 4,000 trucks; Derry Rd. sees an average of 7,000 trucks per day. This is not an area that needs additional truck traffic bringing waste from across Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon and taking ash away for disposal after incineration.

I worked hard to see that PERC was cancelled and look forward to working on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle programs to reduce our environmental footprint.