February 9, 2009
Media Release

Dongara celebrates official opening in City of Vaughan

New facility will divert up to 100,000 tonnes of York Region waste from landfill each year
Backgrounder at the end of this release

NEWMARKET – Dongara, The Regional Municipality of York and the City of Vaughan today celebrated the official opening of the Dongara waste management facility.  Dongara will divert up to 100,000 tonnes of York Region waste from landfill each year.
 
"We have moved aggressively to bring Dongara's state-of-the-art waste management technology to York Region," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  "Dongara will significantly increase our diversion of waste from landfill and we are proud to be working with this innovative facility."
 
Dongara is a private company that manufactures an engineered fuel pellet from residual waste (waste remaining after diversion efforts).  This fuel product can be used in place of coal as an industrial energy source.  The Regional Municipality of York has a 20-year contract to send up to 100,000 tonnes of residual waste to Dongara annually.  
 
"The City of Vaughan is pleased to be the host community for Dongara," said City of Vaughan Mayor Linda Jackson.  "Managing waste locally will reduce emissions from long distance waste transportation and provide long-term benefits to all residents of York Region."
 
The Dongara facility is committed to meeting all rigorous environmental standards under the Environmental Protection Act in its operations and fuel products. The plant and product are subject to regular testing and must meet provincial environmental guidelines.  The product may only be used by industries who have met and will continue to meet all government regulations and environmental standards in their jurisdiction.
 
Dongara sends approximately 25 per cent of pellets to Remasco in Leamington, Ontario where they are used as a heat source for greenhouses.  Remaining pellets are shipped to industrial sites in the United States through a Toronto-based broker, Nautilus, where they are used as fuel.
 
"Dongara welcomes the opportunity to serve York Region and its residents," said Dongara President                Jim V. DeGasperis.  "We look forward to contributing many years of safe and sustainable waste management     to this community."
 
York Region achieved a 45.7 per cent diversion rate in 2007, earning Waste Diversion Ontario's (WDO) No. 1 ranking among large urban Ontario municipalities.  York Region diverted 152,611 tonnes of waste from landfill through Green Bin, Blue Box and other diversion programs in 2007.  An estimated 169,706 tonnes was diverted in 2008. 
 
Including energy recovery diversion from landfill methods such as Dongara, York Region will divert approximately 85 per cent of waste from landfill in 2009.  York Region supports the addition of a 4th R, namely "Recover," to the Provincial waste management hierarchy along with official recognition of energy recovery          as diversion. 
 
For more information on Dongara, please visit www.dongara.ca
 
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Media Contact: Kim MacGillivray, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251-6412
 Email:  Kim.MacGillivray@york.ca
 
Backgrounder

The Dongara facility is located in an industrial area in the City of Vaughan at 7251 Highway 27, just north of  Highway 407.
 
Project history
York Regional Council approved a contract with Dongara in December 2005.  Construction of Dongara began in August 2007.  The plant began phased-in operations on July 2, 2008, and celebrates its official opening on February 9, 2009.
 
What is pelletization and how can I find out more?
Pelletization is the process of turning residual waste (waste remaining after diversion efforts) into fuel pellets that can be used as an industrial energy source to provide heat and electricity.
 
You can find out more by visiting the Dongara website: www.dongara.ca
 
What percentage of York Region’s waste is going to Dongara?  Where is the waste coming from?
Up to 100,000 tonnes of York Region’s residual waste will be delivered to the Dongara facility each year. This represents over 60 per cent of York Region’s annual residual waste.
 
The waste will be directed to the facility from several local municipalities within the Region, with approximately half coming from the City of Vaughan.
 
Where does the rest of our residual waste go?
York Region currently sends residual waste to the Green Lane Landfill in London, Ontario.  York Region stopped shipments to Michigan in August 2008.
 
Does Dongara impact our diversion rate?
The pelletization process is not currently classified as diversion by the Ministry of Environment; however, the use of Dongara is an effective method of diverting waste from landfill and recovering energy.  York Region supports the addition of a 4th R, namely “Recover,” to the official Provincial waste management hierarchy along with the classification of Recovery as diversion. 
 
Dongara’s automated sorting process also retrieves and diverts misplaced recyclables from residual waste delivered to the plant.  Recyclables retrieved through this process will be counted towards York Region’s
diversion efforts.
 
The sorting process also removes hazardous contaminants, such as car batteries and propane tanks before the pelletization process, so they can be managed appropriately.
 
 
Where do the pellets go?
Dongara sends approximately 25 per cent of pellets to Remasco in Leamington, Ontario where they are used as a heat source for greenhouses. Remaining pellets are shipped to industrial sites in the United States through a Toronto-based broker, Nautilus.  The product may only be used by industries who have met and will continue to meet all government regulations and environmental standards in their jurisdiction.
 
How much residual waste can the Dongara facility process each year?
Dongara can process up to 200,000 tonnes of waste each year.  York Region has a contract to send Dongara up to 100,000 tonnes of waste each year.
 
What kind of technology do they use? How does the process work?
Dongara uses a patented process that combines a variety of proven existing technologies with unique state-of-the-art innovations.
 
In the first phase, recyclables that have not been properly placed in the Blue Box are retrieved from incoming waste.  Moisture is removed from the remaining waste before moving into a shredding and fiberizing process.  In the final stage, fuel ingredients are added before the final pellet is created. 
 
Where else has this technology been used?
Similar technology is used successfully in Europe.  While Dongara shares similarities with some existing facilities, the unique Dongara configuration makes this facility one of the most innovative and
state-of-the-art of its kind.
 
Will trucks transporting waste impact local traffic?
A traffic impact study confirmed that deliveries to Dongara would not have a negative impact on the area.  The facility is located in an industrial area.  By eliminating waste haulage to Michigan and managing waste locally, York Region has reduced its waste transportation carbon footprint by more than 80 per cent.
 
Will the Dongara plant/fuel products release odours or emissions?
The Dongara facility is specially designed to contain and treat odours.  Any emissions released will meet all environmental standards.  Most of the water involved in the pelletization process is recycled.  Wastewater will be pre-treated before leaving the facility and then treated by the Regional waste water treatment system.
 
Dongara fuel products are designed for use only in boilers that incorporate state-of-the-art emission control technologies as required by local jurisdictions. 
 
Costs
York Region will pay $84 per tonne of waste delivered to Dongara, including transportation and fuel costs.  Although this is higher than the cost to dispose of waste in landfill, Dongara is an environmentally preferable option due to the energy recovery associated with the fuel pellets.
 

Who owns this facility and is responsible for day-to-day operations?
Dongara is a private sector organization owned by a group of investors.
Engineers, operations managers and staff hired by Dongara oversee day-to-day operations.
 

Dongara Contact:  Betty Disero, Business Development, Dongara
 Phone: 905-851-9552 or Cell: 416-568-9655
 Email: bdisero@dongara.ca
 

Media Contact: Kim MacGillivray, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251-6412
 Email:  Kim.MacGillivray@york.ca


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