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Say good-bye to Toronto's last sewage incinerator!

UPDATE May 2011

On May 18, City Council voted to stop burning Scarborough's sewage sludge at the Highland Creek Treatment Plant! Councillor Ainslie (Ward 43) led the charge to oppose the construction of a new incinerator on the site and instead invest in more sustainable, environmentally friendly management options. 

TEA would like to thank all of the Councillors who voted in favour of cleaner air and more sustainable options to manage our waste. See the City of Toronto website to see how your Councillor voted on incineration.

This vote could not have been won without the tireless efforts of local community members in Ward 44 and Ward 43 (including a TEA member) who went out and gathered over 1,200 petition signatures in a single week. Great job!

Voting to shut down the last City-owned sewage incinerator is a welcome sign that we care about protecting our environment and our health!



UPDATE April, 2011

On April 26, the Public Works Committee again discussed the Highland Creek Incinerator. Unfortunately, the Committee voted 4 to 2 to continue incinerating sewage sludge in Scarborough. The issue now goes to Council for a final vote later in May.

TEA, along with community residents were at the meeting to raise concerns about the health and environmental impact of incineration, and to ask the Committee to ensure that the highest environmental standards were put in place on any new or upgraded incinerators.

Read Heather Marshall's (TEA's Toxic Campaigner) deputation here

Read deputations from two residents here and here.

UPDATE March, 2011

Councillor Moeser is attempting to re-open the debate over incineration at Scarborough’s sewage treatment plant after City Council voted to shut the incinerator down in 2010!

TEA was at City Hall on March 23, 2011 to voice the health and environmental concerns of incineration and highlight the economic benefits of alternatives. As a result, the staff will be required to do more research on these risks before any
decision is made.
See TEA's deputation to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.


The Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant has the last incinerator in Toronto; it is used to incinerate biosolids, or sewage sludge, from the Treatment Plant. This old incinerator is one of the largest polluting facilities in Toronto; emitting over 38 tonnes of GHG emissions per day not to mention toxins like heavy metals, hexachlorobenzene, and dioxins/furans.


On June 8th 2010 at City Council, TEA helped pass a motion to stop incineration of Toronto’s sewage sludge at the Highland Creek Treatment Plant in Scarborough.

See TEA's briefing note for Councillors explaining the environmental implications of biosolid incineration.  

It was a very close vote with a little over half of Toronto’s Councillors voting to put the last City-owned incinerator to rest for good!  Congratulations to all the Councillors who stood up for a safer, sustainable option for managing our sewage waste. 

See our Council Report Card to see how Councillors voted in June 2010. 

Highland Creek Biosolids BRIEFING NOTE June 8.pdf40.14 KB
Deputation to PWI on Highland Creek 23 March 2011 with link.pdf23.11 KB
Deputation to PWI - 26 April 2011 - TEA-Heather.pdf25.73 KB
Deputation to PWI - 26 April 2011 - Kimberley.pdf15.01 KB
Deputation to PWI - 26 April 2011 - Nadia H.pdf35.57 KB