York1 Environmental Solutions is proposing a dump site that could result in up to 700 dump trucks, filled with construction and demolition waste, rolling through the small town of Dresden, Ontario every single day.

This proposed landfill continues a trend of making rural Ontario a convenient dumping ground for urban communities. The riding of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex already has two major landfills, Ridge Landfill and Watford and Twin Creek Landfill, that take over 3 million tonnes of garbage from the GTA.

If approved, the waste will be stored at a site located within a kilometer from town on land that sits adjacent to Molly’s Creek, a naturally fed spring-origin creek that flows directly into the Sydenham River. The Sydenham is a well known biological hotspot home to at least 33 species that are currently at risk. There is a high likelihood that toxic substances and chemicals from the dump could leach into Molly’s Creek and transfer to the Sydenham. This would contaminate critical habitats and threaten some of Ontario’s rarest species like the Eastern spiny softshell turtle and Salamander mussel, pushing them closer towards the brink of extinction.

Dresden says no to GTA waste

Dresden residents, local councillors and members from surrounding communities have all been vocal in their opposition to the dump. Rightly so, they’re concerned about the potential impacts on the environment and their quality of life. Because of their pushback, the provincial government has ordered an environmental assessment of the project. 

This is a good first step, but it’s not enough.

Despite the obvious environmental impacts of this project, a provincial environmental assessment doesn’t guarantee that the proposed project will be cancelled. This is because the province has weakened the environmental assessment process over the years in ways that favour the approval of harmful development projects.  

What’s next?

This project can and must be stopped by Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet. It’s clear this is a bad proposal in a high risk area. 

A provincial by-election was recently called in the area and residents in the riding will be heading to the polls on May 2. Leading up to the election, we’re working in partnership with Dresden CARED, a local group fighting against the dump, to keep up the public pressure and ask the political candidates the right questions. It’s critical that the successful candidate is one that listens to the public and prioritizes the protection of the environment. Both of these things can be accomplished by cancelling this disastrous project. 

Ready to talk to a by-election candidate? Here are three easy questions to ask:

  1. If elected, does the public have your word that you will cancel this proposed dump development? 
  2. (if yes to question 1) How will you ensure that this project will get cancelled? What are the steps you will take to do so? 
  3. How will you prevent Lambton-Kent-Middlesex from becoming a mega dump for outside cities and towns? How will you stop this trend from continuing on in the future?