During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, many solid waste dumping sites in New Brunswick were reaching capacity. Over 300 dumps were scattered across the province, operated by the New Brunswick Department of Transportation, municipal government, or private owners. The 11 dumps in the Fundy Region were located in Spruce Lake, French Village, Chance Harbour, Maces Bay, Grand Bay, Browns Flat, St. Martins, Kingston Peninsula, Quispamsis, Welsford, and Hampton.
The search for new disposal sites was a lengthy and tedious process. Residents of areas adjacent to proposed sites attended public meetings in great numbers to express concerns about the preservation of environmental and aesthetic values in their communities. As a result of the public outcry, the province became committed to finding a new direction for solid waste management in New Brunswick.
On January 14, 1986, Honourable Robert C. Jackson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, announced that a major public consultation effort would commence. 'The importance of input from the public in the development of waste management programs cannot be overly stressed,' said Mr. Jackson. 'Experience has shown that New Brunswickers are becoming more environmentally conscious all the time, and are demanding that waste disposal practices meet a very high standard.'
A five-member task force for the Environment Council conducted seven public consultation programs throughout the province and received a number of opinion letters and written submissions. As a result, a report offered 18 recommendations to the Minister of the Environment concerning the future direction of waste management in New Brunswick.