January 18, 2016
By Al Christensen, Reeve
This blog will deal with information concerning our landfill operations.
The provincial government has been assessing fees to consumers for recycling costs for many years. This has been most noticeable on tire purchases but is also included when purchasing pop and other recyclable containers in grocery stores. These fees were charged to defray the costs associated with collection and disposal of these same items. While the senior government has encouraged municipalities to collect recycle and prevent these items from ending up in landfills, the costs have been borne totally by the municipality.
Our municipal costs for recycling have been increasing since the initial implementation in 2009. The District has invested in 19, 5 cubic yard containers and is currently renting a 30 cubic yard container located at Elk Ridge. Our direct pick up costs from Greenland Waste will total just over $45,000 in 2015. An offsetting item is that this material is transported to Prince Albert and we do not have the associated costs of dealing with this material in our own landfill.
The provincial government has announced a Multi Material Recycling Program (MMRP) which will begin this year. Under the terms of this program, recycling fees collected will be shared with municipalities. In the first year (or two) this revenue will be shared based on a payment of $11.75 for each permanent resident based on the last census. This would net Lakeland just over $16,000. We objected to this formula due to our large seasonal population and they are giving consideration to a payment based on households. This may result in a payment to us of about $24,000. Once the program has been in operation for a year or two the payment will be based on tonnage collected by each municipality.
It is important to increase the amount of material that we recycle so it does not wind up in the landfill, but also to take the benefit of recycle dollars. With this in mind Council has asked Administration to work with Greenland Waste and develop a program which would result in door to door recycle pickup, possibly on alternate weeks to refuse pickup. This will form part of our budget deliberations this year.
In 2014 the volume of wastewater entering the Lagoon at Emma Lake resulted in the District needing to request permission from the Province to perform an early release of effluent. This was due to several factors including high ground water which increased the number of pumpouts required by many of our residents, weather that resulted in poor evaporation and higher than normal rainfall in the area. The District hired a consulting engineering firm and we have a plan to build another treatment cell which would handle present and an anticipated increase in volume. This project will cost in the neighborhood of 3 million dollars and the District has applied for senior government infrastructure grants that should cover two thirds of this cost. As a result of the federal election campaign this grant program was delayed and few projects have been approved. We are still awaiting word on our grant application.
The results of the lagoon operation in 2015 are currently being reviewed. As a result of a reduced volume coming into the lagoon and far better evaporation, an early release was not required. However changes to provincial regulations will result in a shortfall in capacity even if present volumes are maintained. When the new landfill was built north of Anglin Lake in 1997 a lagoon was included that has only taken the volume from McPhee and Anglin subdivisions. This lagoon could handle significantly larger volumes and we are consulting with our septic haulers to see if a plan could be devised that would avoid the new cell construction costs.
Solid Waste Landfills
The McPhee Lake landfill (2Km north of Waskesiu Junction) was operated initially by the Prince Albert National Park. When the municipality was formed it became part of our landfill system and both PANP and the new subdivision at Elk Ridge sent refuse to this location. We have been in the process of decommissioning this site and have been using the current refuse to build a mound (for runoff) as part of that process.
The landfill that was built at Anglin was designed for small volume and due to the high water experienced in this decade was deemed unsuitable to take refuse. The refuse from these cells has been transferred to McPhee Lake and the remaining cells will be filled in and decommissioned this year.
The Landfill at Emma Lake has to be reviewed according to the material coming into the site. Our household waste area is large enough to support our volumes for some time into the future. The shrub and burning pile area is working well. The construction and demolition area is almost at capacity and was not compacted properly in the early stages of accepting material many years ago. With the changes happening in our immediate area, many demolitions have taken place and the volume of this material is increasing beyond our capacity to house it in the area available. It will be necessary consider other methods of disposing of this material in the very near future. We have started discussions with the City of Prince Albert and are working on a plan to deal with this material.
These issues will need to be dealt with by council over the next few years and many changes can be anticipated along the way.