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Landfill battle brewing between SE recycling plant and its neighbours

The Ecco Waste landfill covers 46 hectares east of 24th Street S.E. between 107th Avenue and Quarry Park Boulevard. .
The Ecco Waste landfill covers 46 hectares east of 24th Street S.E. between 107th Avenue and Quarry Park Boulevard. . Global News

Businesses and residents in the southeast communities of Riverbend and Quarry Park are raising a stink over the expansion of a landfill at the Ecco Waste recycling plant.

They say the landfill, east of 24th Street S.E., is expanding without the proper permits and have launched a petition to have operations at the landfill suspended.

Andy Orr, a former planner with the City of Calgary, has a good view of the growing heap of waste from his back deck in Riverbend.

“Apparently the expansion area that they’re using right now was not approved by the city,” said Orr. “They may be in the process of obtaining that, however in the meantime,  it appears as though they’re being allowed to operate without a proper approval and that’s a concern.”

It’s also a concern for business owners in Quarry Park. This past spring, heavy rain washed waste and debris into their parking lot.

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“It floods our whole parking lot and it comes up to my knees,” said businessman Scott Robbins, who added he’s concerned about possible contaminants in the waste.

Part of the problem is the landfill expansion meets permit requirements by one level of  government but not another. By provincial standards, it’s in compliance, and while the expansion has been approved by the City of Calgary, the permits technically haven’t.

“I think it’s really important of any business and incumbent upon them to ensure they have proper approvals at all levels,” said Orr.

The city says it isn’t unusual to have a company operate during the permit approval process.

“We do want to assure citizens that if [the company] continues non-compliance, we will take action,” explained Gord York, the city’s chief development inspector.

Global News contacted Ecco Waste for comment but did not receive a response.