The solid waste management system that has served the towns of Oxford, Amherst and the Municipality of the County of Cumberland for about 50 years has been sold to GFL Environmental, the fourth largest North American diversified environmental services company.
The transaction was completed Feb. 3, 2022, about 20 months after the three municipal councils agreed to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to determine if there was private sector interest in taking over the system under terms and conditions acceptable to the municipal councils.
Amherst Mayor David Kogon said: “We met our key objectives in concluding this transaction.”
Oxford Mayor Greg Henley noted that: “We now have certainty around the long-term costs of dealing with our waste. Our taxpayers are being protected.”
Cumberland County Mayor Murray Scott concluded: “We’ve looked after our employees, reduced our regulatory and environmental risk, and we believe this will be a growing business for our municipalities.”
The three municipal councils decided in early 2020 to explore divesting themselves of the Cumberland Central Landfill in Little Forks due to increasing waste management costs and increasingly stringent environmental regulations that would, over time, require significant capital investment by taxpayers.
Solid waste management and disposal depends on volume for profit. Demographics in the Cumberland region and increasing regulatory requirements suggest that the per unit costs for waste disposal would rise significantly without intervention.
One of the principles that guided the municipalities through the divestiture process was the continued employment for Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority (CJSMA) staff at the site. That was achieved.
The agreement provides for fair value and long-term stable tipping fees.
GFL provides a comprehensive line of non-hazardous solid waste management, infrastructure and soil remediation, and liquid waste management services through its platform of facilities throughout Canada and in more than half of the states in the United States. Across its organization, GFL has a workforce of more than 17,000.
GFL will be responsible for meeting all the environmental standards necessary to retain its operating permit for the Little Forks facility.