The first phase of the new landfill at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre will start receiving waste in August as the current site reaches capacity. The new facility meets or exceeds all current provincial requirements for landfill design, construction, and operation.
Planning for the new engineered landfill was included in the 2012 Solid Waste Management Plan, with the recognition the current site will reach capacity this year. The $16.1 million project has two main components, the landfill cell 1 and a leachate treatment facility.
Cell 1 has an engineered liner system to collect and divert leachate to an equalization pond. The pond is also lined to prevent the leachate from impacting the surrounding area. From there it will be directed to the new treatment facility, which will remove contaminants before returning clean water back to the environment.
An educational video has been developed about the landfill and can be viewed at www.cswm.ca/landfill.
The process to close the existing landfill has already begun. Approximately 70 per cent of the existing landfill surface has been fully closed with a series of layers to stop clean water infiltrating the landfill and generating leachate.
The top layers of coverage include an organic layer and a vegetative cover. A landfill gas system has also been installed to collect and flare off the landfill gas generated at the site.
“We’re very pleased with how the transition has gone so far, with the gradual closure of the existing cell and the construction of the new one,” said Marc Rutten, GM of Engineering Services Branch for Strathcona Waste Management.
“It’s estimated the approved engineered landfill (cells 1-3) will be able to accept waste for at least the next 20 years.”
Only select waste will be put into the first layer of the new cell to protect the liner system. Initially only commercial and residential municipal solid waste will go into the new site until a two-metre protective buffer is in place.
During this time construction and demolition waste will continue to be deposited into the existing landfill.
“It is important that residents properly sort garbage to make sure sharp materials stay out of the landfill,” said Rutten. “Things like construction materials, or large metal pieces could cause damage to the liner. It’s going to be very important that we all make sure waste is properly sorted and disposed of, both to protect the liner system and to extend the life of the landfill.”
Information about diversion and recycling options and additional details on the new landfill cell can be found at www.cswm.ca/landfill.