CALGARY – An Ecojustice investigation has resulted in orders being issued against Lilydale and two contractors for the improper handling and transportation of waste chicken parts from Lilydale’s Calgary chicken processing facility.

Ecojustice assisted 18 Ramsay residents in bringing concerns about Lilydale’s facility to the attention of Alberta Health Services, which issued orders under the Public Health Act to address the ongoing issues. The orders are the result of several complaints by residents regarding debris from the Lilydale facility including chicken parts being scattered around the neighbourhood. The residents also complained of waste bins being hauled from the Lilydale facility leaking blood and other liquids, and there was a significant spill of waste chicken parts on 21st Avenue SE in July 2009.

“These orders are some relief to residents who have spent years living with stomach-turning odour, 24-hour activity, and chicken parts strewn across their neighbourhood,” said Barry Robinson, an Ecojustice lawyer. “However, there are ongoing issues such as odour, noise and other nuisances that need to be addressed.”

The orders require Lilydale to ensure that all waste is kept in fly-proof and waterproof containers and to ensure that waste bins are not transported with blood or other waste dripping from them. Additional orders against West Coast Reduction Ltd. and International Compost Ltd., who haul chicken waste from the facility, require them to ensure that waste bins do not have waste leaking or spilling from them when they are moved.

The Lilydale facility is allowed to operate adjacent to a residential area because of a grandfather clause in Calgary’s zoning bylaws. But since May 2009, Robinson has worked with community residents to compile evidence of Lilydale’s non-compliance with the Public Health Act and the effects of that non-compliance on the community residents. In September 2009, some residents were forced to leave their homes as a result of an ammonia leak at the Lilydale facility.

For residents like Tracey Loston, the orders are a first step in addressing residents concerns with the Lilydale facility.

“The unchecked growth of an old slaughterhouse adjacent to a residential area is an embarrassment to the City of Calgary,” said Loston. “I hope that these orders encourage Lilydale to relocate their plant to a more appropriate location so families can once again enjoy relative peace in our otherwise wonderful neighbourhood.”

On February 18, 2010, Lilydale announced an agreement under which Lilydale will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sofina Foods Inc. of Ontario.