The Former COGERNO
Please note that since January 1st 2013, the COGERNO is called the Solid Waste Service and is part of the Northwest Regional Service Commission (NWRSC). Here is the COGERNO’s history.
The COGERNO (Commission de gestion enviro ressources du Nord-Ouest)was a commission that was incorporated under the Clean Environment Act, which was proclaimed on December 6, 1971. In 1986, the Department of the Environment implemented a solid waste management program to solve the environmental problems caused by solid waste disposal.
The COGERNO was then mandated, as were twelve other regions in the province, to develop a regional waste management strategy, sustainable and acceptable on both the environmental and social levels.
The organization, which was then known as the Comité provisoire de gestion des déchets solides de Madawaska-Victoria (Madawaska-Victoria Provisional Solid Waste Management Committee), held its first meeting in November 1990. This is how 15 representatives from each of the region’s municipalities and 4 representatives from the local service districts (LSD), initiated a long process aimed at improving solid waste management in northwestern New Brunswick, while minimizing the environmental impacts resulting from this project.
The work performed to complete the regional landfill site can be summed up in 5 phases
PHASE I. Waste Auditing
The first study was completed by an Edmundston firm, Nordic Consultants. The study determined that there was an annual average of 27,500 tonnes of solid waste generated within the region. This first phase was completed in November 1991.
PHASE II. Evaluating the Options (by waste category)
RECYCLABLE → RECYCLING MATERIALS
ORGANIC → COMPOSTING MATERIALS
COMBUSTIBLE → INCINERATION MATERIALS
GARBAGE → BURIAL
A final decision was taken by the committee: Build a regional sanitary landfill and promote the recycling of organic waste through a home composting program. The committee decided that it would not get involved in recycling because the private sector provided this service, through the company Encorp and L’Atelier des Copains of Saint-François. This phase was completed in September 1992.
PHASE III. Site Selection
In all, there were 78 potential zones in the region, 10 of which were within a 30 km radius of the waste generation centre (location where transportation costs would be lower). In order to maintain transportation costs at an affordable level, these 10 zones were retained for more detailed studies. Four zones were retained for a more in-depth study, after conducting an aerial and land reconnaissance, an evaluation on site accessibility and constructability, as well as studies on soil quality. Exploration pits were dug and soil samples were collected on these 4 potential zones in order to identify the best possible site. In addition to meeting and even exceeding the standards, it had a surface area of 1,200 acres and landfill space to handle more than 100 years of waste. Following the approval of the population through a series of public meetings, the Montagne-de-la-Croix site was submitted to the Department of the Environment for an environmental impact assessment. The site selection study was completed in February 1994.
PHASE IV. Environmental Impact Assessment
The environmental impact assessment revealed that the Montagne-de-la-Croix site was ideal for the construction and operation of a regional sanitary landfill site. The impacts were nonexistent or insignificant. Furthermore, with the purchase of equipment that would allow a better density, importation would actually cut the cost per tonne without really affecting the site’s lifespan. The environmental impact assessment was completed following a public hearing held in November 1995. That same year, the site was renamed as: Commission de gestion enviro ressources du Nord-Ouest (COGERNO).
PHASE V. Design and Construction
A company from Moncton, ADI (now EXP), and Nordic Consultants from Edmundston were in charge of designing and supervising the construction of the Montagne-de-la-Croix regional sanitary landfill site. Work started in the spring of 1996 and was completed in the fall of 1997.
Closure of Dumps
Through the solid waste management program implemented by the New Brunswick Department of the Environment, 300 open dumps were permanently closed, 18 of which were located on the territory served by the COGERNO.
Opening of the Landfill Site
On October 14, 1997, the landfill officially opened, where household wastes could be delivered and processed. The cost of building the landfill site was 12 million dollars. The site processes 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of waste per year. Each cell of the landfill can hold more than 100,000 tonnes. At that rate, the COGERNO must build a new cell every two years and sometimes every three years.
During the summer of 2012, a new cell was built, the 8th since the site’s opening. At 50,000 tonnes of waste a year, the landfill site has a life span of 165 years.
- Solid waste management assessment for Madawaska-Victoria Phase I, Waste auditing. Nordic Consultants
- Solid waste management assessment for Madawaska-Victoria Phase II, Evaluating the options. Nordic Consultants.
Available through your public libraries.