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TORONTO - The union representing Torontos civic employees today urged Torontonians to show their displeasure with councils decision on Adams Mine by supporting those members of council who voted against shipping our garbage north.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees today announced its list of recommended candidates for the November 13 elections. CUPE represents some 30,000 municipal workers who are directly employed by the City of Toronto, 14,000 who work for the Toronto District School Board and 1,500 who work for Toronto Hydro. CUPE also represents thousands of health care, social services and university workers in the Toronto area.

CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Brian OKeefe says, The Adams Mine will be operated by Canadian Waste Services, a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. (WMI) of Houston, Texas. WMI is the continents largest waste conglomerate/holding company, and is well known amongst waste industry analysts for its unscrupulous environmental and business practices.

Just this year (June, 2000), WMI was charged with fraud by the U.S. Security Exchange Commission for misrepresenting and artificially inflating the value of its stock. Senior company executives cashed-out millions of dollars in stock before revised financial information was made public and the stock plummeted, explained OKeefe.

In October, 1998 said OKeefe, WMI and three related companies were indicted in California on 23 counts of criminal fraud. The charges stemmed from another WMI rail-haul scheme that would have moved trash from Californias Orange and San Diego counties to a landfill in the Mojave Desert. Surely Toronto does not want to repeat these mistakes, says OKeefe.

There is an achievable alternative, he says. The newly-elected City Council can refuse to send garbage north and it can quickly put in place a comprehensive, integrated public waste management plan which reduces and recycles our waste. It can eliminate the need for rail-haul.

CUPE Local 416 has proposed a two-stream, wet-dry recycling system for the City of Toronto. Comprehensive cost and technical documentation has been given to the City. The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) supports the proposal. It is a model that keeps control of our waste stream in public hands where it belongs.

And let us not be fooled by new promises of diverting waste from the Kirkland Lake landfill, warns OKeefe. Toronto has consistently missed established waste recycling and diversion targets. In 1991, for example, Metropolitan Torontos Waste Division established a target of 30 per cent for 1992 and 60 per cent by the year 2000. Here we are in the year 2000, still stuck at a 25% diversion rate, he says.

For information:
Brian OKeefe, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer
(416) 299-9739 (o)
(416) 579-7414 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)
(416) 200-6126 (Cell)

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