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Landfil lid to brings savings and environmental protections

By CJ Goater Mar 6, 2024 | 3:51 PM

City of Thunder Bay Solid Waste and Recycling Facility - Screen Capture Google Maps

On Monday City Council approved a just over $1 million price tag on a lid for the Thunder Bay Solid Waste and Recycling Facility’s west cell.

The west cell, which could be considered the facility’s original cell, has been at capacity for years and portions of the cell are already capped.

“It was capped a number of years ago, but it wasn’t all capped, obviously standards and regulatory requirements have changed from a number of years ago to present day, and so there’s just portions of that cell that aren’t capped,” explained Thunder Bay’s Manager of Solid Waste and Recycling Jason Sherband. “This is phase one of completing that and then we’ve got a phase two because obviously it’s a significant undertaking and you can see that by the dollars in terms of what the work costs.

The new cover is considered step one of the cell’s final capping, allowing the facility to meet current regulatory and environmental standards.

“One you know, there’s obviously a regulatory obligation to cap cells once they’ve reached final elevation and are not accepting waste anymore, but the other significant component is it reduces the amount of infiltration,” explained Sherband.  “You know, rain, snow melt, all that stuff is infiltrating fill waste and the byproduct of that is what we call leachate, a byproduct of decaying garbage, and we have to treat that right and treating that is a very costly endeavour that we do.”

The capping of the west cell will have no impact on operations at the facility as the east cell is currently responsible for taking waste.

“We’re utilizing that east cell right now, which is our active cell and approximately we’ve got about 21 years of life remaining on the current active cell that that we’re infilling right now,” added Sherband.

The second phase of the west cell capping is planned for 2026.