Council of Community Organizations meeting – April 4, 2013

Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust hosted the Council of Community Organizations (CoCO) Meeting on April 4, 2013 at the Hubley Centre. 

The full meeting was devoted to a presentation by Ken Donnelly, on behalf of the Community Monitoring Committee, regarding proposed changes for Otter Lake Landfill Site recommended in a recent report by Stantec, commissioned by staff at Halifax Regional Municipality.

Ken Donnelly was the project co-manager and facilitator of the Community Stakeholder Committee that developed the waste management strategy and sited the Otter Lake Landfill in 1995. He is now working with the Community Monitoring Committee to assist in the evaluation of the Stantec report and to ensure that any discussion of changes at Otter Lake take into account all commitments made to the communities around Otter Lake.

Ken has 25 years of waste management experience in every province in Canada and the NWT, the UK and the Caribbean. He has been working in community engagement for over 20 years.

The recommendations Stantec put forward for the Otter Lake Landfill include:

-         Shut down front end processing

-         Shut down waste stabilization Facility

-         Reduce cell liner requirements and remove the leak detector liner and cushion liner

-         Build cells higher to extend the life of the landfill by 17-25 years

-         Bring composting and MRF operations to Otter Lake.

Increasing the height of the cells would impact sight lines (the landfill is already visible from parts of Clayton Park) and these changes could have implications for the environment and the headwaters of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area.

These recommendations violate the agreement made with the communities and would require an amendment to the operating permit issued by the province of Nova Scotia.

Following the meeting, a feature news story was printed on Page 1 of the April 10 edition of The Masthead News.  

For more information, please visit the Otter Lake CMC Facebook page (, Twitter feed (#OtterLakeCMC) and a Web site set up by lawyer Peter McInroy ,  Leave Otter Lake Alone (

Participants at the meeting asked what can be done to help. The CMC and FBWHT ask that those concerned E-mail, call or mail all the councilors and the Mayor and share, comment and post on social media to help get the message out. The Trust also contacted all members of Council and the Mayor to express opposition to these recommendations.

 The impact to the area will be significant without the help of all of us.