Exploring three landfill solutions

MORRISBURG – South Dundas council will explore three potential solutions further for dealing with the ongoing landfill issues in the municipality. That direction was given at the April 23rd committee of the whole meeting held at the South Dundas Municipal Centre.

Council met with Russell Chown, senior environmental consultant from WSP, and Jennifer Brown-Hawn, Cornwall environmental group manager from WSP, the firm retained by the municipality help plot a path forward with the long-standing waste management issues in South Dundas. The meeting was a follow-up to a presentation at April 2nd regular council meeting, where nine options were presented to deal with South Dundas’ garbage. Among the options presented included a new medium-sized landfill, expanding either of the existing landfills, reclamation of space at an existing landfill, energy from waste, or moving to a transfer station and off site disposal model.

Concerned with keeping costs lower to users, councillor Archie Mellan said that South Dundas should deal with its own garbage.

“I want to shy away from trucking our trash away. Once [companies] know we don’t have a land fill, they’ve got us.”

He said that if the municipality was to send waste to outside contractors, there should be a long term contract to secure a lower price.

Brown-Hawn said that some municipalities she has dealt with have 10-year contracts.

Part of the discussion included looking at what neighbouring municipalities accept for recycling, construction waste, and bag collection amounts. South Dundas presently collects two bags per week for free, with additional bags priced at $1.25 each. This puts the municipality far lower than the City of Cornwall which accepts six bags per week, but not as high as North Grenville which charges $4 for every bag set out for collection.

Looking for an outside-the-box solution, councillor Lloyd Wells suggested looking at transporting some waste out, while disposing some at a new expanded landfill.

“We just need to look at some options,” he said. “Twenty years ago, no one thought of dealing with a rainy day. That rainy day is here.”

Wells also highlighted his concern about construction waste filling any landfill too fast, suggesting that the municipality eliminate accepting construction material.

“Dutch Meadows will fill that dump alone,” Wells said of the new subdivision project set to break ground west of Morrisburg later in 2019.

Wells said that he would not be opposed to eliminating construction waste from the municipal landfill sites.

Deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner said than any landfill solution has to include increased diversion of recyclables.

Brown-Hawn said that increased education helps with diversion.

South Dundas chief administrative officer Shannon Geraghty said that the municipality’s diversion rate is between 20 and 21 per cent.

Mayor Steven Byvelds is concerned about closing and monitoring costs over the long term for either landfills.

“There is a 25-year span for monitoring,” Brown-Hawn said. “For the first 10 years there is no change, then those costs follow a downward trend.”

At the close of the hour-long meeting, council settled on moving forward with three options to be costed out: Migrating to a transfer station and outsourced disposal; expansion of the Williamsburg landfill by another 100,000 cubic metres; and expansion of the Matilda landfill by another 100,000 cubic metres. Council asked for the cost of expanding either landfill to include any other costs associated such as extending electrical services 1.2 kilometres from Mackenzie Road to the Williamsburg landfill.

A report will be presented to council later this spring.


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