Ecojustice Case – Healthy communities Case Status: Victory

Lilydale chicken processing plant

Barry RobinsonBarry RobinsonLawyer

Community residents in Calgary, Alberta, complained about poor procedures resulting in spill blood, disposal bins leaking fluids and chicken parts scattered throughout the residential area adjacent to the processing plant.

In March 2010, an Ecojustice investigation led Alberta Health Services to issue orders against Lilydale over the improper handling of chicken waste at its Calgary plant.

Why was Ecojustice involved?

Local residents approached Ecojustice about the issue after their complaints to Alberta Health Services, Alberta Environment and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency were ignored.

Ecojustice has worked with community residents since the spring of 2009 to compile evidence against Lilydale — evidence that also included an ammonia leak in September 2009 that forced some residents from their homes.

What does this victory mean?

Lilydale must now keep all waste in fly-proof and waterproof containers and ensure that waste bins are transported in a sanitary fashion. Sub-contractors West Coast Reduction Ltd. and International Compost Ltd. must also ensure that waste bins do not leak or spill while being moved from the facility.

What’s next?

While the Alberta Health Service’s orders bring some waste-handling improvements to the Lilydale plant, Ecojustice continues to assist residents in addressing other noise, odour and nuisance issues. A grandfather clause in Calgary’s zoning bylaws allows the facility to operate next to the residential area, but citizens continue to pressure Lilydale to relocate the chicken-processing plant permanently.

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