The Town Council of Hanna, Alberta has expressed interest in the potential of a biomedical waste facility in the municipality. As reported in the Hanna Herald, Council authorized Mayor Chris Warwick to provide a letter of support to GM Pearson regarding the Cactus Corridor Region interest in having the company establish a Biomedical Waste Incinerator Business in the region.
GM Pearson is an Alberta-based company that provides biomedical waste disposal services. The company handles biomedical waste from its removal and transportation to its final, safe disposal. The company provides incineration and autoclaving at its Alberta Environmentally Approved facilities.
GM Pearson had proposed an 8,000 tonne per year biomedical waste incinerator in Beiseker, approximately 100-km west of Hanna, but it was met with fierce public opposition. That plan fell through after the county denied the development permit, saying the site had insufficient infrastructure and water to service the proposed plant.
A human health study commissioned by the company and authored by Dr. Warren Kindzierski, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Alberta, states that while older studies about older incineration facilities do suggest evidence of health impacts to people who live near waste incinerators, recent studies suggest modern facilities don’t pose the same risk. “Public concern about health risks is not justified for potential exposure to dioxins and furans and other chemical substances that are emitted by modern, well-run incinerators equipped with modern pollution control technologies,” the analysis reads.
The town has approximately 2,500 residents and is located in east-central Alberta. If built, the incinerator has the potential ti create 22 full-time jobs, as well as contractor work, and provide tax revenue to the town. The mayor of Hanna, Chris Warrick, noted in a letter to GM Pearson that there are two sites within Special Areas that would be a good fit with the biomedical waste incinerator, as they met the zoning requirement, are in close proximity to major transportation corridors, are near utility infrastructure and regional landfills, and have compatible neighbouring land use.