NEWS

Clarington woman combats noise, dust from dump site

08/16/2012 07:07 EDT | Updated 10/16/2012 05:12 EDT
A woman in Clarington, Ont., says she's been fighting to protect her property and her health since an empty gravel quarry next to her home was turned into a dumpsite for dirt two years ago.

"I can't open my windows, I can't go outside for a walk, or use my barbecue, or play with my dogs or leave them out," Donna Middleton said.

On Thursday morning dump trucks full of dirt from construction sites rumbled in and out of the Morgans Road site, passing right by Middleton's house.

She says her home feels like a prison because of all the dust flying around. Middleton said her bedroom window is less than 12 metres from the trucks, with the noise often starting early. She says she's also concerned about the water.

Shawn Rondeau, project manager for the site, told CBC News that construction projects are inevitable.

"They have to happen so you try and do your best to accommodate the people and keep it as easy on them as possible," he said.

Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster said he's heard all the complaints and investigated but there's nothing he can do.

"Everything that's going on is legal, very frustrating and the residents' lives have been turned upside down," he said.

Many areas around Toronto are used as dumping grounds for dirt from construction sites in the area.

"We've actually taken a couple of controversial steps," Foster said, including banning dirt from outside the Municipality of Clarington and charging a small fee for each truckload, which goes toward road maintenance.

Coun. Willy Woo said the municipality might have the most strict site alteration bylaw in the province.

The owners of the land have also altered the truck route, which used to disturb more homes.

There's no avoiding Middleton's home, however. She says commercial fill sites should not be located near where people live at all.

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