| Jul 17, 2008

Feature Article - July 17, 2008

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Feature Article - July 17, 2008 South Frontenac Council - July 18/08By Wilma Kenny

Waste Disposal Concerns in South Frontenac

The township’s annual waste disposal site "report card" highlights several areas of concern in South Frontenac. Presented to council on July 8 by Guy LaPorte of Totten, Sims & Hubicki, the report deals with waste disposal sites in Bedford, Portland and Loughborough. (Storrington, which exports its waste, has no municipal waste sites.)

In Loughborough, groundwater quality at the site’s eastern property boundary was "potentially impacted by landfill leachate to a degree unacceptable to the MOE"s guidelines." Later in the same meeting, Council approved the $100,000 purchase of 40 acres abutting the eastern edge of the site, in order to extend the property boundary to include the leachate plume.

Portland’s proximity to water raised alarms: although downstream surface water quality was "not impacted by landfill leachate," leachate in the surface water in the immediate perimeter of the landfill "causes localized provincial water quality exceedances," and there are concerns that the site may be having a negative effect on the aquatic biota downstream. (Biota, or invertebrate bentha includes all the tiny life forms in the mud on the bottom of a swamp or stream: their health is used as an indicator of water quality.)

A blocked culvert (which has since been reopened) had caused water to pool in Bedford’s Salem site. The closed site on Bradshaw Road, which is not on township property, has exposed waste and litter, and the MOE had asked that a gate and sign be erected there. Altogether, Bedford has three closed sites (Bradshaw Road, Fish Creek and Crow Lake), one soon to close (Massassauga), and three active sites (Salem, Bradshaw and Green Bay.)

The "lifespan" of any waste site is of utmost concern: it is determined by a combination of factors: approved capacity, estimated annual volume of waste, compaction and cover procedures. Capacity is based on size of the site, and determined by the MOE’s certificate of approval. However, updated MOE regulations have the potential to restrict capacity if the landfill site is shown to be causing environmental damage. Annual volume of waste in both Loughborough and Portland seems to be dropping below the estimations. LaPorte notes this may be an anomaly, or may be due to improved recycling: only time will tell. Once Massassauga closes, volumes at the remaining Bedford sites are expected to rise. More aggressive compaction and improved cover procedures would extend the projected lifespans.

Present anticipated lifespans are: Loughborough, 14 years, Portland 39, Bradshaw 27, Green Bay 22, Salem 17, and Massassauga 2.

All township waste sites, both open and closed, will continue to be regularly monitored in accordance with ministry guidelines.

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