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Neighbours worried about Dundas lime kiln operation’s use of new fuel

Some neighbourhood concerns are beginning to appear around a proposal to burn certain non-hazardous waste products at a lime kiln operation on Highway 5 near Dundas. The company, Carmeuse, a Belgian firm, occupies space at the Lafarge quarry on Highway 5. It takes raw limestone from Lafarge and heats it in kilns to manufacture lime which has a variety of uses including the manufacture of steel.

There have been lime-making operations at the site for over 70 years using  conventional fossil fuels to heat the limestone to a temperature of 1000 degrees C., specifically, natural gas and petroleum coke. The company says it can reduce its CO2 output by using what are called Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels. Allowable materials include biomass (organic matter) either from a crop which is grown and harvested for the purposes of being a fuel, pulp and paper biosolids, wood waste, and agricultural waste. Alternative Low-Carbon Fuels can also include non-hazardous and non-recyclable industrial, commercial, and municipal waste providing certain conditions are met. It is the latter that are raising concerns from residents and businesses in the area, who have circulated letters and contacted area politicians.

The company proposes to use fuel stock that would consist in part of:

he engineered ALCF approved for the Demonstration Project and proposed for full-scale use is a mixture of:

Non-recyclable packaging

Paper by-product, also known as paper sludge

Non-recyclable rubber and plastic

Nylon obtained from tire fluff

Unsalable consumer sanitary products (such as diapers) – these are new, unused products that cannot be sold to customers due to a manufacturing flaw

The company website says these materials would commonly be disposed of in a landfill. Using this material as a fuel reduces the carbon dioxide emissions and reduces the quantity of material being landfilled or otherwise disposed of.

Full details of the project can be accessed here, but the company says  The plant operates at such high heats that odors are not an issue. The company denied rumours that tires will be burned, noting burning tires is banned by the Environment Ministry. The company has held two open houses last fall, but some members of the public only learned about the proposal recently. Both MP Dan Muys and MPP Donna Skelly have been contacted. Skelly told the Bay Observer. “I’ve met with Carmeuse and will be meeting with community organizers in a week.  I’m hoping the company will use biomass exclusively and eliminate the plastic material and will be asking them to consider it. She went on to say that the company is a supplier to Dofasco, and that the steelmaker is urging all suppliers to use lower carbon fuels.  The local office of the Ontario Environment Ministry says a formal application has not been submitted yet, but is expected.

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