J.D. Irving Ltd. has started to remove a mountain of garbage it dumped on its own property, after being directed by the New Brunswick Department of Environment to clean up the site in Parkindale, near Elgin.
“The stockpile of Styrofoam seedling containers on JDI land in Parkindale would be considered an illegal dump under the Clean Environment Act,” department spokeswoman Jennifer Graham said in an email to CBC News.
“As such, JDI was directed to remove the containers and dispose of them at an approved site.”
No fines have been issued. “Not at the moment. As per our compliance and enforcement policy, generally we try to work with the landowner to accomplish compliance with our regulations,” said Graham.
“If not successful, then we would determine what enforcement options are available including fines.”
The company had been planning to clean up the site before the environment department’s directive on Monday.
When pictures of the dump surfaced on social media last week, spokeswoman Mary Keith told CBC News disposal had been scheduled.
On Wednesday, she said the company is “actively working to remove all the waste materials,” and hopes to have the work completed this week.
She did not respond to questions about why the crates were dumped there, or how long they had been there.
The forest dump, located near the company’s seed orchard, off Berry Road, was discovered by area resident Kelly Layton on May 4 while driving along the dirt roads.
Layton estimated there were about 15,000 crates and said they appeared to have been there for years, based on the moss growing on them.
He returned with a camera to document the mess, saying he was concerned the Styrofoam might be leaching into the ground and noting the Pollett River is “not that far away.”
Layton was also worried about some barrels, which appeared to contain toxic material. Some of the packaging displayed warnings of asbestos, which could be a cancer risk.
Keith said the company was “not familiar” with the barrels, but sent samples of the material they contained for testing and found they did not contain asbestos.
She did not, however, say what it was.
“All materials are being disposed of through appropriate and accredited waste-handling facilities,” said Keith.
Front-end loaders, dump trucks and other heavy equipment were going in and out of the site on Wednesday. The access road has been blocked off and ‘no trespassing signs’ have been posted.
The Department of Environment says it will continue to monitor the situation to ensure it’s resolved.