Council approves new landfill design

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News

Kincardine council has agreed to spend an extra $100,000 to try and get an additional 10 years out of the Ward 2 landfill.

Conestoga Rovers and Associates presented council with an update on its work to expand the landfill site once Ward 1 reaches capacity in 2010. During its design of the new site, the engineers found a number of problems that could lead to problems down the road.

The initial plan called for a 30 acre landfill site to be put into use in the existing landfill. The site would be used with minimal excavation. Garbage would be placed directly on the existing ground surface, on a five degree slope. Due to the sand and silt soil, waste water would be washed away down the hill.

The plan would leave approximately 160,000 cubic metres of space for landfill. If the municipality’s waste numbers remain steady, the engineers estimate the site would have a life span of 9.4 years.

“By 2020,” said Conestoga Rovers’ Greg Ferraro, “the municipality will be out of landfill space.”

While the short lifespan was Ferrarro’s biggest concern, he also said the design has numerous problems. The soil under the garbage will become saturated with leachate. The waste product will need to be trucked out of the landfill several times a week.

The initial plan included no excavation and Ferrarro said that will leave the landfill without enough soil on-site to manage the waste. Soil will have to be dug at an outside site and trucked in whenever necessary.

Conestoga Rovers and Associates took the problems into account and presented council with a new plan designed to maximize the space available on-site.

The site’s initial landfill permit includes a large volume of space and Ferrarro suggested using more of it to expand the landfill’s lifespan. He asked council to consider a plan to generate 340,610 cubic metres of usable space, giving the landfill a lifespan of almost 30 years.

The new plan calls for the excavation of the site down to its clay level. Garbage could be placed on-site until it reaches the ground’s natural height. A layer of soil would be placed down at this level and more landfill could be placed on top using the same slope and space as the initial plan.

Excavation would give the site a surplus of soil to use while managing the waste. Ferraro also said the leachate collection could be slowed through this plan.

Adopting this plan would set the municipality back in its plans to close the Ward 1 site. The engineers need to meet with the Ministry of the Environment, complete a new hydrogeological study and update its capacity determination.

Once the paperwork is in place, Ferraro said his company can complete a detailed design of the site, which is the stage the engineers are at with the initial design.

“This is not a landfill expansion,” Ferraro said. “We need to amend the approved design because it only uses a fraction of the ultimate capacity.”

Council was asked to set aside an additional $200,000 to complete the work. Money has already been spent on the initial design, so the project’s total cost will approach $300,000. If the landfill reaches capacity, Kincardine will have to seek a brand-new landfill site and council realized that would be an expensive and drawn-out process.

“For this small amount of dollars, it’s not rocket science,” said councillor Ron Hewitt. “It seems like a lot, but it is not much for 10 years of landfill.”

Ferraro said the rising price of tipping fees can help the municipality earn back the money it spends on development at the site. Councillors also suggested the possibility of re-examining existing sites to find more capacity.

Council is allowing Conestoga Rovers to begin the process of amending the landfill design. Periodic updates on the work will come back to council in the future.