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NORA meeting aims to rally municipal support


Now that most district municipalities have given their notice to withdraw from the Northwest Ontario Recycle Association effective June 31, NORA will try to rally support at a meeting April 3 in Emo.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a good turnout,” said NORA chair Dennis Brown, who also is the mayor of Atikokan. “We’ve sent invitations to all the municipalities.”

Brown noted members of the NORA working group, including Dryden administrator Art Wellington, will be on hand to give municipalities an update on its findings after the NORA board took a hard look at where it stands and what it can do to eliminate its debt and keep operating.

Wellington also will offer ideas as to what options are available to provide more efficient and cost-effective recycling services down the road.

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Emo-La Vallee Community Centre.

In the meantime, groups such as the Recycling Council of Ontario are lobbying to get the Waste Diversion Act pushed through at Queen’s Park this spring following the PC leadership vote March 23.

Brown said he hopes the legislation—which would see Waste Diversion Ontario fund up to 50 percent of recycling organizations—could help NORA reduce its debt.

“It was in the middle of the second reading in December. We want to make sure it makes it through the second and third readings,” he noted.

“It could mean between $150,000-$300,000 or more, making it a lot easier for us,” Brown added. “And I think that would make some of the municipalities more comfortable.”

But he admitted it’s more likely the legislation, first introduced by the Ministry of the Environment last June and which NORA previously had banked on to come through with some financial relief, will happen far too late for the organization.

“We’ve waited and waited so long. If it comes, it will be a bonus. A lot of time and effort went into the information gathering behind this,” Brown said.

“I thought it was going to happen in 2001,” he remarked.

The Waste Diversion Act 2001 details the set-up, responsibilities, and

reporting requirements of the WDO, and ministry enforcement and penalties for non-payment of industry fees.

It also details the set-up of industry funding organizations (IFOs) to raise the necessary funds within affected industry sectors to support and implement waste diversion programs and activities developed in co-operation with WDO.

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