OVWRC marks 15 years
Sean Chase/Daily Observer The Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre (OVWRC) celebrated 15 years of providing waste processing services to local municipalities on Saturday with an open house. In the photo are (left to right) Toby the Triple R Can, Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett, chairman of the OVWRC management board, OVWRC executive director Sue McCrae, Public Liaison Committee member William Halkett and Curby the Green Cart.
LAURENTIAN VALLEY – In 2002, a remarkable transformation took place out on Woito Station Road.
On the grounds of the former Alice and Fraser landfill, an advanced waste management facility rose up to provide the state-of-the-arts means to process household organics, scraps, construction material, appliances and electronics. On Saturday, the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre (OVWRC) was held up as an achievement in municipal cooperation and diligent environmental protectionism.
“We are here today to celebrate 15 years of providing quality waste management services to our community,” OVWRC general manager Sue McCrae said during ceremonies to launch a day-long open house at the facility. “We are a fully integrated waste management facility, a one-stop ship for our residents and local businesses.”
Commissioned by the unified financial efforts of the Town of Petawawa, the City of Pembroke, the Township of Laurentian Valley, the Township of North Algona Wilberforce and the Sebastopol ward of Bonnechere Valley, the facility is a collection of different operations including a recycling processing plant, a household hazardous waste depot for residents and small businesses, yard waste collection, source separated kitchen, leaf and yard waste processing, construction and demolition material separation and an engineering wetland treatment system.
The OVWRC is a major employer with a staff of 65 people during peak periods. McCrae also acknowledged the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation noting the centre exists on their sacred lands. The landfill is anticipated to last another 20 to 40 years.
In his remarks, Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett, chairman of the OVWRC management board, said the centre continues to fulfill its vision of waste reduction and diversion from landfill and providing education to the public.
“We have made great strides in our efforts to walk lightly on the environment and we plan to continue to take steps forward in the pursuit of our vision that was originally established by a group of forward thinking municipal representatives,” said Bennett.
He noted that the centre has gained recognition within the waste diversion industry, instituted award-winning programs and has achieved some significant milestones, such as the establishment of an engineered wetland that treats landfill leachate impacted water. The facility has been at the forefront of long-term landfill expansion, the fostering of a waste electronics program, the separation of construction and demolition material, and the building of a landfill gas collection system. It has also opened a permanent reuse centre to divert usable household goods and a poplar tree plantation to assist with water absorption and filtration around the landfill.
Bennett paused to recognize the late Kellard Witt, former reeve of Laurentian Valley and the board's founding chairman, who spearheaded efforts to ensure the centre came to fruition. Earlier this year the centre planted a tree in Witt's memory on the grounds near Grace Lutheran Church.
“He was a man with vision and we will continue to honour that vision by providing quality waste management services to the community,” said Bennett.
The day-long open house included bus tours of the recycling, composting and landfill operations, children’s craft using repurposed wood, educational displays, face painting, giveaways, prize draws and light refreshments.