Public hearings into a proposed municipal composttreatment centre in
Dorval will go ahead Monday night even though Aéroports de Montréal is
against having the facility on its property.
The city of Montreal wants to turn 50,000 tonnes of organic waste
into compost at a closed facility it would build on Aviation Ave. in
Dorval on land owned by the ADM. Public hearings are being held into
the location of it and three other green-waste treatment centres the
city wants to build on the island.
But the airport authority is against the construction of a compost
facility within eight kilometres of its runways, said Christiane
Beaulieu, the airport’s vice president of public affairs. It poses a
safety risk, she said, because the centre and the dozens of trucks
entering and leaving it could increase the number of birds in the area,
posing a potential risk to aircraft.
Beaulieu said the ADM has repeatedly told the city since June it
opposes the Aviation Ave. site. The ADM sent Montreal a letter in
October the day after the public hearings were announced repeating its
opposition to the plan, she said.
The issue came to light at the end of last week when the Office de
consultation publique de Montréal, which is holding the public
hearings, released letters between the ADM and the city about the
Dorval site. The OCPM also made public a letter ADM sent the city in
December 2010 saying it was interested in leasing the Aviation Ave.
land to the city for the compost-treatment site.
The public-consultations office invited the ADM to attend Monday’s
hearings to clear up the confusion. But Beaulieu said there is no point
in attending since the ADM believes the Dorval site should have never
been the subject of public hearings.
Montreal executive-committee vice-chairman Alan DeSousa, who is in
charge of sustainable development, said the ADM’s decision took the
city by surprise.
The island-wide agglomeration council approved the Dorval site after
city officials spent months trying to find suitable locations for
compost-treatment centres around the island, he said. Over the summer,
studies were done for each site looking at issues like traffic and
noise. A separate study looking at bird hazards was done for the Dorval
“We wouldn’t have spent money on detailed studies if there had been
even a glimmer of a hint that the site in question might not be
available to us,” DeSousa said.
To reduce odours and avoid attracting birds to the Dorval site, the
city proposes building a closed facility, using negative pressure to
prevent air from leaving the building, washing truck tires before they
leave the site, and using a double-door system: one that would open to
let in a truck, and then close behind it before a second door opens
into the facility itself.
Both the city and the ADM say their employees have visited
compost-treatment centres elsewhere in North America. The ADM said a
closed facility it visited in Ontario had a large number of gulls, as
well as smells and litter outside that could attract mammals,
increasing the chance of attracting large predatory birds like turkey
vultures. The city of Montreal said it saw no birdrelated problems at
composttreatment centres it visited close to airports.
For Montreal, the risk of bird strikes increasing because of a compost-treatment centre are very low, DeSousa said Sunday.
“We are quite prepared to sit down with the airport to investigate any concerns they might have,” he said.