BERWICK – “This is a historic deal and I think it’s a great deal as far as where we’re going as a municipality,” township of North Stormont Mayor Jim Wert said. “It may allow us even more opportunities than are on the table tonight.
It was during the municipality’s June 15 council meeting that the “historic deal” was made official when North Stormont politicians passed a bylaw authorizing a disposal service agreement with Green for Life Environmental Inc. (GFL) that will cover the township’s waste management needs for the next two decades. The agreement will start on Dec. 1 of this year and will continue for 20 years and one month.
“I think we’re entering into a phase that is going to be unique in the landfill industry,” Wert said.
The township’s current contract, originally signed with Lefleche Environmental Inc. roughly 20 years ago, is set to expire on Nov. 24 of this year. The waste management portion of Lefleche Environmental is now owned by GFL, which, according to its online profile, is the only major diversified environmental services company in North America offering services in solid waste management, liquid waste management, and infrastructure development.
Marc Fox, who has roughly 30 years of experience in the industry, was hired by North Stormont to assist in the negotiations with GFL. During the June 15 discussion, Coun. Roxane Villeneuve, who said she saw this “mutually beneficial” deal as positive for the township, asked Fox to clarify his relationship with GFL during this negotiating period.
“I am representing North Stormont,” Fox said. He gave a brief overview of his work history. He worked for Lefleche in the past, prior to it being bought out by GFL, he said, at which point he moved to a different waste company. At different points in time, Fox said he has worked for GFL, and he has been its competitor. Prior to the North Stormont deal, Fox was working for GFL, but stopped so that he would be able to act as an advisor to North Stormont.
“This is a very valuable 20-year contract that benefits the community as a whole,” chief administrative officer Craig Calder said.
The new contract has been updated and modernized, Calder said. It has a competitive compensation schedule that is to be phased in over the next few years. The agreement covers disposal rates, contributions to infrastructure projects, and host community fees.
“I know there is limited information we can give, but it is a good deal,” Coun. Steve Densham said, alluding to upcoming community investments in Moose Creek, Finch, and Crysler. “I just think it’s fantastic. I just want to thank all of the team.”
In a statement released following the June 15 meeting, Calder said GFL is demonstrating community commitment with $1.26 million in community benefits. These are to be used for the new Moose Creek Community Centre, as well as for fire equipment for both the Crysler and Finch Fire Stations. GFL Canada East vice president Dave Richmond said he is looking forward to creating a first-class environmental facility.
“Beyond the immediate deal, GFL has also agreed to work collaboratively with the township to advance economic development within the municipality and is constantly looking for new ways to shape the future vision of waste disposal and management in an environmentally progressive fashion,” Calder said. Fox called it a win-win situation.