Tag Archives: landfill

Smells, peels, poop and pop cans. Part 1 about Waste Management, My Second Priority.

Smells

My pledge: I will work with Waste Management on more ways to make the landfill a good neighbour. I will continue to listen and respond to smell reports.

The last few weeks as I go door to door or receive phone calls and emails, I have been getting complaints about the smell of the landfill. Smells do come and go from a landfill, but these are pretty bad.

I am part of the landfill liaison committee that meets quarterly to discuss issues at the landfill. I’m also part of the Waste Management Master Plan committee.

There are two things going on at the landfill site that are potentially generating odours. There is construction of a new cell in the south area of the site where waste is being excavated as part of the new cell and the collection of landfill gas is slightly less than usual.  Staff is working to increase the landfill gas collection.

The Region capped the finished slopes in the north expansion area. There is also additional landfill gas piping being added.  Unfortunately all these works have been hampered by all the rain this fall.

Staff is increasing the use of a portable mister and odour masking granules, but like in your bathroom, these can only cover up the smell. The additional gas collection wells are supposed to be online now. A portable flare to get rid of the methane is up and working to capture additional gas.

I sure hope this will be completely done by the time the election comes and goes!

Here is some information about the landfill and the liaison committee which is a public meeting held quarterly. About the Landfill

The Region is not planning to close the landfill for the next fifteen or twenty years. It is politically impossible to open a new landfill in the Region of Waterloo.  As the people presently near the landfill can understand, no one wants a landfill near them.

The Waste Management Master Plan is looking at a waste to energy solution (also known as an incinerator). Also controversial. This will be very expensive and may be built in conjunction with other places like Guelph or London.

Here is the Waste Management Master Plan.  

People have said close the landfill and truck it to Michigan. This is irresponsible when we still have capacity. Not to mention, have you seen the ads for vacationing in the countryside of Michigan? Is it ethical for us to send polluting trucks with our garbage to an impoverished state instead of dealing with it ourselves?

Waste Management Part 2

Waste Management Part 3

Waste Management Part 4

Veggie Peels Banned from Landfill?

Yesterday staff brought council a proposal for a pilot program for green bins in apartments, industrial and commercial, also restaurants. You would never know that by the headline in the Record, as staff let it slip they are planning to ban compost from the landfill in 2013 or beyond.

This caught us by surprise, having not been mentioned before.  Council has the final say with this proposal and we aren’t keen on it at the moment. 30 percent of waste going to the landfill is compostable, but we have only just begun the green bin program.

It seems to me that people and staff and reporters are focusing on waste being diverted from the landfill and sent somewhere else to stop the dump from filling up. Which it will in 20 or so years.

That’s not what it’s all about. The waste includes all things that can be composted. Lettuce leaves, paper towels, egg shells, potato peels, etc.  This waste is taken to a composting facility where, like the peel or shell that used to fall on the forest floor, it rots into dirt. Very good quality dirt.

This dirt is then used to feed new plants and the circle of ecology continues.  When organics go into the landfill in plastic garbage bags, they may not even rot, in anycase, they stay filling up the landfill,  no use at all. What a waste.

My concerns yesterday were with the costs of the pilot project if it becomes permanent. As I saw in the composting centre in Whistler, which is only restaurant organics, restaurants create a lot of compostable garbage. We are looking at daily pick up of several bins from each restaurant. The pilot, not so expensive, but I asked staff how much it would cost the taxpayers to have the Region fund the pilot permanently. This is important as presently restaurant waste is trucked away by a company the restaurant pays for.

If compost is banned from the landfill, where will this compost be trucked to by the firm hired by the restaurant? Michigan? A field somewhere? 

Or will the region pick up the tab for pick up? A huge cost. 

I’m glad this is just a pilot at this stage.