As salvagers tool up to meet demand for scrap metal to feed Algoma Steel's electric-arc furnaces, city councillors have agreed to prepare a draft bylaw to address complaints about AIM Recycling at 997 Carpin Beach Rd.
"They took over operation, and to my understanding, they seem to have expanded their footprint and their operations beyond what the former business had undertook," said Ward 5 Coun. Corey Gardi, speaking at a council meeting on Monday.
Gardi and wardmate Matthew Scott prepared a resolution late last year after receiving complaints from the neighbourhood.
"These are very loud operations," said Ward 1 Coun. Paul Christian.
"Very unfair to the neighbourhood. Yes, we need these types of facilities in light of what's happening at Algoma Steel."
"I think we need to strike a balance. So I'm hoping there's strict adherence to hours of operation," Christian said.
"I hope there's a fine component to this and I hope we put together a process that expedites any violation processing that we need to do."
"Because I think we need them, but we can't have these, running away on us," Coun. Christian said.
"The primary concern raised by constituents in proximity to AIMs is noise," said solicitor Jeffrey King.
"The most recent meeting held on July 13, 2022 between city staff and the [Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks] confirmed that AIMs continues efforts to mitigate complaints since taking ownership of the salvage yard off Carpin Beach Road in recent years," King said in his report to council
"The MECP confirmed that material shredding is being relocated from a concrete pad and set to the west side of the property (which creates more distance between shredding operations and residents)."
"This is a location that benefits from more natural sound attenuation like trees. The area is also surrounded by a newly added berm that will further mitigate noise."
"AIMs has also restored buffers to the front of the property which include vegetation and fencing that exceeds the current site plan requirements. The MECP believes that by mid-August material shredding operations should be fully relocated to the rear area behind the berm.
"The above operational changes are a first step taken by the MECP before looking at additional requirements. Using the technical terms, currently AIMs is operating under an EASR (Environmental Activity and Sector Registry) to reduce the operational impacts, such as noise, on the surrounding area,"
"Should that not be sufficient, a full ECA (Environmental Compliance Approval) will be required to continue operations at the current location."
"The MECP continues to work with AIMs to mitigate noise and is actively keeping city staff informed of any progress," King wrote.
Any licensing bylaw should be developed after consultation with existing stakeholders, King added.
He recommended the draft bylaw be written with input from the city planning, building, clerks and legal departments.