Markham residents alarmed over proposed Sabiston landfill project

An article posted by NICHOLAS MIZERA at

A project being considered by the Town of Markham on the former Sabiston landfill site has local residents concerned for the future of the adjacent German Mills Settlers Park.

At a recent public meeting, Markham began considering installing an aerobic system from the SPL Beatty Company to reduce methane emissions from the site. The system would pump water and air into the waste, speeding its decomposition to decrease the total methane it will produce over time.

The $500,000 system is proposed for a plot in the furthest southeast corner of the site, which would fence off about a sixth of the land. Local residents worry the system may result in the loss of enjoyment of the area that is informally considered by some to be part of the park.

Bernard Sze regularly enjoys walks through the land, which has become a verdant green space since Sabiston was closed in 1975. He is worried that increased heat from decomposition, leaching of waste materials and odour associated with the system may become possible health and safety risks.

Ward 2 councillor Howard Shore says he recognizes residents’ concerns but wants to make it clear Markham’s residents shouldn’t be making a decision on speculation before both sides can sit down and have an informed discussion.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of science,” he said. “We should have as much information as possible.”

The town and its partners in the proposed pilot project were scheduled to host a meeting to discuss the proposal on May 30 at the Thornhill Community Centre’s North Hall.

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