BluMetric presents to Faraday on landfill expansion

Faraday Township council received a presentation from BluMetric Environmental Inc.’s Andy Benson and Mike Melany at their meeting on Feb. 7. Benson and Melany discussed with council the results of long-term waste management options analyses that their firm had carried out for the township in order to extend the working life of their landfill. Mayor Dennis Purcell and Benson comment on this presentation.

Benson, vice president, director of operations, specialist in waste management and an environmental engineer and Melany, an environmental engineer and hydrogeologist with BluMetric, gave a presentation to Faraday council at their meeting on Feb. 7, outlining some strategies to extend the life of the Faraday landfill, including reclamation, garnering energy from the waste, expansion, incineration, finding a new landfill space, or doing nothing.

BluMetric Environmental Inc. is a Canadian environmental consulting and water cleantech company that solves environmental problems. According to their website (www.blumetric.ca), they were established in 2012 through the amalgamation of Water and Earth Science Associates Ltd. and Seprotech, two companies with many years’ experience in environmental consulting and water technology solutions.

The preferred option from BluMetric’s Benson and Melany back in 2022 was to expand within the existing landfill space in Faraday. Updated in 2024, other potential options included moving waste off site by 2030, reclamation of cell 2 and 3 which would extend the life of those parts of the landfill up to approximately 2055, and finding a new landfill site of (40,000 cubic metres), which would last until 2057. This last option would cost around $4.4 million.

Benson said that the problem with fines, the material that comes out of the landfill, is that once it is waste, it is always classified as waste by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “So, you bring that out, you can put it back in but if you don’t do that it’s not marketable to be used somewhere else, it has to be taken somewhere else as waste,” he says.

One of the options, incineration, was talked about by Benson and Melany, to give council more information on this method of waste disposal. They said that approximately 8 per cent of waste was incinerated in Canada, compared to 16 per cent in the United States, 42 per cent in France, and 59 per cent in Switzerland. It would require a full EA or screening level for EA for energy from waste projects, the MECP encourages Faraday to collaborate with other municipalities to build a facility that would service a larger area, zoning considerations would need to be taken into account, and the question of the ash produced and if it would be able to be kept on site or not if it is hazardous.

However, this option came with a cost of over $58,000 for a Front-end engineering design study to produce all technical documents, confirm product specifications, clarify the scope of the project, and estimate the cost of the project. It would also cost $10 million to $20 million plus substantial operating costs over the course of the incinerating plant’s lifetime, which council thought would be best done in the future in partnership with other municipalities and perhaps private businesses. Capturing energy by the refuse, the methane gas that is generated by the decomposition of the waste at the site, was deemed not feasible by Benson and Melany, as the Faraday landfill site is too small to reap any appreciable benefits from this method.

With Ontario’s landfills running out of capacity and expected to be exhausted by 2036, Benson said the province is supportive of any measures to extend the working life of existing landfills, and not having to find new sites. Therefore, the reclamation of cell 2 and cell 3 in the Faraday landfill would be the preferred option, extending the life of the landfill to around 2055, as they had done it before with cell 1 in 2009 and cell 4 in 2018 and it had gone well.

Reclamation removes recoverable materials and reduces waste volume through combustion and compaction. The recovered materials such as ferrous metals, aluminum, plastic and glass can be sold or recycled. The reclamation of cells 2 and 3 would give an additional 25 years of usage approximately, according to Melany. This would come at a cost of $1.1 million but could be a little lower.

The possibility of moving waste off-site beginning in 2030, at a cost of around $1.8 million, was also considered a good option as it would ease stress on their landfill, if Faraday can find another landfill to take the refuse. While expanding the landfill by creating a conceptual cell 6 by moving the waste transfer station was initially rejected as it would be difficult to move the station, Melany said that option could still be looked at and resolved going into the future in concert with the reclamation of cells 2 and 3 to further extend the landfill’s useable life. This expansion would cost approximately $1.8 million.

Mayor Purcell said he thought the presentation gave council different options which were available and best for their community taxpayers. “BluMetric gave background of past years. I was most impressed with both Andy Benson and Michael Melany considered time well spent on their presentations,” he says.

Benson told The Bancroft Times that BluMetric Environmental were appreciative of the invitation from council to discuss in-person the results of long-term waste management options analyses that their firm had carried out for the township. “We thought the presentation stimulated good questions and discussions with council.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times