Roger Anderson, Chair and CEO of the Region of Durham and member of FCM’s National Board of Directors and John Carmichael, member of Parliament for Don Valley West, today announced a $350,000 Green Municipal FundTM (GMF) grant in support of Waterfront Toronto’s Pilot Soil Recycling Facility.
“FCM’s Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments,” said Anderson. “The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”
“The Government of Canada is assisting municipalities across the country in achieving their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for Canadians through the Green Municipal Fund,” said MP Carmichael. “Today’s announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with FCM — is helping Waterfront Toronto build a greener future for our citizens.”
“The Green Municipal Fund grant has helped Waterfront Toronto demonstrate that there is a sustainable and economically viable method for dealing with impacted soil,” said John Campbell, President and CEO, Waterfront Toronto. “The benefits of soil recycling are significant. Recycling frees up landfill capacity, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, traffic related accidents and injuries, wear and tear on our roads, and reduces the need for new aggregate. It also provides a source of clean material that can be used in waterfront projects. It’s really a win-win-win approach.”
The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is one of the largest urban brownfield remediation projects in the world. Waterfront renewal depends on the ability to deal with soil that has been impacted by decades of industrial uses, and by infilling long ago when environmental standards were not as stringent as today.
Remediation efforts currently underway across the waterfront are expected to generate significant volumes of impacted soil and rather than simply ‘digging and dumping’ contaminated soils Waterfront Toronto is working to recycle soil. The goal is to clean and treat soil to an appropriate quality so that it can be used for redevelopment activity instead of importing new soil.
As a first step in its soil recycling plan, Waterfront Toronto established a pilot soil recycling facility in the Port Lands in 2010 to assess the economic and technological viability of recycling contaminated soil. The pilot confirmed the effectiveness and economic feasibility of recycling soil and allowed Waterfront Toronto to seek a private sector operator to finance and operate a long-term soil recycling facility in the Port Lands.
Waterfront Toronto chose Green Soils, an industry leader with over 20 years of experience managing contaminated soil, as the soil recycling facility operator in the Port Lands. Once operational, Green Soils will encourage other communities to make use of the facility and the soil recycling technologies available.
As part of the pilot project, Waterfront Toronto commissioned a study to understand and quantify the environmental, social and health benefits of soil recycling versus conventional disposal. The findings were striking.
The study demonstrated that Waterfront Toronto’s pilot project reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 36kg/tonne of soil moved, for a an estimated savings of $18.50 per tonne, which is a projected savings of $65M over the life of the long-term facility. The study also projected that a full-scale soil recycling facility would have significant environmental and economic benefits: associated truck travel would be reduced by about 80%, resulting in reduced road maintenance, fewer traffic accidents and reduced traffic noise; associated greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by about 75%, resulting in reduced societal, environmental and health costs; and recycling soil would reduce the need for landfill capacity and new aggregate.
Waterfront Toronto is the public advocate and steward of waterfront revitalization. Created by the Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto is mandated to deliver a revitalized waterfront. Formally created in 2001, Waterfront Toronto has a 25-year mandate to transform 800 hectares (2,000 acres) of brownfield lands on the waterfront into beautiful, sustainable mixed-use communities and dynamic public spaces.
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.
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