July 19, 2004

Recycling firm fined $55K for plant odours

TILLSONBURG, ONT-Everwood Agricultural Products International was fined $55,000 and levied a 25% victim fine surcharge after pleading guilty to a charge under the Environmental Protection Act. The company recycles shredded pesticide containers into plastic fence posts at its Tillsonburg manufacturing plant. Part of its process involves grinding the containers into smaller pieces, which are then melted using electric heat. The extruder used to melt the material operates at temperatures ranging from 390 to 505*F. The court was told that between April and August 2003, vapours from the extruder were vented outside into the natural environment without any pollution control devices attached. Residents living near the plant complained to the Ministry of Environment (MOE) about sore throats, headaches, nausea, general discomfort, and interruption of their normal outdoor activities. The MOE subsequently charged Everwood with discharging a contaminant, i.e. odours, into the environment causing or likely to cause an adverse effect, contrary to Section 14(1) of the Act. The company pleaded guilty and was given 12 months to pay the $55,000 fine. Everwood has since installed emission control equipment, which has substantially reduced the number of resident complaints. It is also seeking to relocate to an industrial location and is working with the MOE to find a solution to control the odour emitted during its operations.
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