The Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM) is planning a $5.1 million expansion to its landfill, according to its proposed 2022 capital budget.
At current rates, the town estimates that the landfill will require expansion by 2026, and that the proposed expansion will serve the town until around 2043.
“The existing waste cell, completed through the Phase 1 Expansion project, is approaching completed capacity,” the town said in a statement. “The next expansion phase will provide the needed capacity and waste disposal infrastructure to serve the growing community.”
The costs of the proposed project, if approved, will be taken on as long-term debt.
The expansion will involve excavating waste, re-landfilling it at another location on site, and installing a protective liner on the excavated area.
“The excavation of the old landfill area will create new air space ... and will allow for the opportunity to line this area and provide better environmental performance,” the town said.
The proposed liner will be composed of materials designed to keep water coming into contact with waste from contaminating the immediate environment.
“The engineered liner will be a layered system of geosynthetic clay, high-density polyethylene membrane, geotextile cushion, clear stone, filter cushion and sand,” the town said. “This system is designed to contain leachate (rain and meltwater that comes into contact with waste) and prevent it from infiltrating the surrounding ground.”
As proposed, $420k is earmarked for engineering, $4.2 million for construction, and $500k will be set aside as a contingency budget.
The plan is to begin the project in late 2022 and to have it completed by 2026.
“The Phase 2 Expansion project, if constructed similar to the Phase 1 Expansion project, will require two construction seasons to complete,” the town said. “Design and tendering work will need to begin late in 2022 to see the completion of the new cell by 2026.”
Part of managing future landfill capacity will come from improving waste diversion rates, the town said.
“In 2020, the community achieved a 56% diversion rate, which has helped reduce and lessen the impact on capacity at the landfill. To this effort, additional diversion programs have been implemented at the Landfill and Recycle Depot for drywall, shingles, mattresses and Styrofoam.”
“However, these efforts alone do not eliminate the continued need for landfill capacity. The target is to achieve 75 per cent diversion by 2025, which will assist in managing future growth and landfill capacity.”
The 2022 budget is still in draft form and has not been approved by council.
Four meetings are scheduled for budget deliberations, taking place on Dec. 2, Dec. 3, Dec. 6, and Dec. 8.
The meetings on Dec. 2 and 6 will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the meetings on Dec. 3 and 8 will take place from 9 a.m. to noon.
A revised edition of the budget will be made available Dec 16, which will be subject to public meetings on Jan. 24, 2022.
Following any additional changes, the proposed budget will be brought back to council for approval in a meeting expected to occur on Feb. 14, 2022.
Click here for a link to the 2022 proposed budget.
Click here for the council meeting schedule and virtual links.
Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca