Spend $2.3M to keep landfill site going in Perth

Grant Machan
Grant Machan brought information to Committee of the Whole about expanding Perth’s landfill site Tuesday night. Photo credit: Sally Smith.
Posted on: January 16, 2019

Sally Smith

Grant Machan, Director of Environmental Services, brought an update on the landfill expansion to Committee of the Whole in Perth Tuesday.

“Construction activity will take place in 2020 after the planning and design work is completed in 2019,” Machan said, at an estimated cost of $2.3M pending the completion, tendering and bidding of the works. Plans are to expand the landfill site by 100,000 cubic metres which will add 10 to 15 years lifespan.

His report states: “At the moment the municipality is working under an Emergency Certificate of Approval (ECA) to allow operations to continue while designs are completed. Waste generated during the use of an ECA reduces the remaining 100,000 cubic metres each years it’s in place.”

Were the site to close down this year, the cost could reach $1.3M and include “clay capping and sealing, leachate collection and collecting, and groundwater and soil monitoring.”

It was noted that $5,000 had been allocated in the budget for education. “The more waste that’s diverted, the longer the site will last, and we’ll save money down the road,” Councillor Brown commented.

Discussion ensued with a one-bag per family option thrown into the mix; this suggestion silenced council for a moment.

Explaining further, Machan said that if this happened, people could still buy tickets “but with no administration to give out tags,” time could be used otherwise. Mayor Fenik clarified, in the event that this ever happened, that families could still take trash to the landfill site, have it weighed and then pay.

The landfill site is considered a large asset for the municipality. Information contained in Machan’s report stated “Perth is one of the remaining municipal landfill operators in eastern Ontario and continues to identify the site as a key utility that retains businesses and manufacturing facilities in Perth by providing inexpensive and locally available disposal options for waste.”

Machan had the last word. A new family had recently moved to Town and phoned him. The conversation went something like this: they asked: “Everything that stinks goes in the green bin, we put plastic in the yellow bin, and fibre in the blue bin. What goes in the garbage?”

Machan liked this “proactive approach,” and said it’s “something we should be looking at and aware of.”