WINCHESTER – Ontario is home to 444 municipalities, all have a landfill site and all have to deal with the challenge of making their particular landfill site last as long as it can.
North Dundas utilizes the Boyne Road landfill site and municipal staff have been busy looking ahead to when the site will have to be expanded.
If it cannot be expanded, when it reaches its capacity which will likely be sooner than later, North Dundas would have to rely on transferring all of their waste to another municipality that has a landfill site with the capacity to handle other municipalities’ garbage. The cost to taxpayers in that case would be significant.
Anticipating having to make that choice, the North Dundas Waste Management department has been working on having the Boyne Road landfill site expanded. To do that, they have to have their waste management plan accepted by the provincial government.
“We have been getting ready for an environmental assessment for quite some time now,” said Mayor Tony Fraser.
The first step to expanding the landfill site is creating terms of reference, which will be used to undertake the environmental assessment.
“Our terms of reference application was submitted 18 months ago to the ministry [Ministry of the Environment (MOE)].
It has finally been agreed upon and we can continue the process,” said Fraser.
The Director of Waste Management, Doug Froats said, “To expand the landfill we have to get the ministry’s approval, and to get the approval we have to do an environmental assessment.”
He said there are two parts to getting their waste management plan accepted. The first is to get a set of terms of reference approved by MOE, once they have been approved.
“We submitted the terms of reference to the ministry on the third of July of this year,” said Froats.
Froats pointed out that getting the first step done, the approval of the terms of reference, took a long time.
“To get to that point has been a long struggle because it would get submitted, then there was a change in government and then a change in staffing. Our MPP Jim McDonnell made some inquires for us, and they got everything together and got our terms of reference approved and this is the next step.”
“This is not a new project,” said Fraser.
“This one is for 25 years out so this is what we are going to do for the next 25 years, how we are going to manage ourselves,” he said.
The assessment will look at how North Dundas plans to deal with its waste over the next 25 years.
If the waste management plan is approved, then the Boyne Landfill site will be able to be expanded when necessary.
“We are going to need to expand it,” said Fraser.
“We have lots of land in the area.”
The study can get complicated.
“There will be studies on traffic, studies on birds, there are Aboriginal studies as well,” said Froats.
The process now is to do the studies, collect all relevant information and then submit it to the ministry.
“Then we wait for a ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” he said.
If the municipality gets a ‘no’ from MOE the landfill site will switch their operations to a transfer type process where they will have to collect the waste and transport it to another landfill site.
If the response is a ‘yes,’ then the landfill site will begin the process of expanding at the back and transition from filling at the front.
Part of the study includes any opposition to the expansion.
Froats has spoken to people in the community about the landfill issue.
“Most people in the community are saying they want the expansion, they do not want to ship our waste elsewhere.”Golder Associates will be conducting the study with help, when necessary, from municipal staff.
The official notice about the beginning of the projects asks for public input.
The time frame for the completed study is up to the municipality.
“The faster we get it in there the better it will be for us,” said Froats.
The notice states: “Members of the public, agencies, Indigenous communities, and other interested persons are encouraged to actively participate in the planning process by attending consultation opportunities or contacting staff directly with information, comments, or questions.
Consultation opportunities are planned throughout the planning process and will be advertised in The Chesterville Record and through the township’s website at http://northdundas.com/town-hall/landfill-recycling/environmental-assessments/landfillea/.”