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Kawartha Lakes seeks public input on future waste disposal options to address landfill capacity

Landfill sign

Landfill signKawartha Lakes - Kawartha Lakes is planning for the future in how it will manage residual waste (garbage) once the approved landfill capacity is filled up. What’s in the garbage bag today will not look the same in the future since products will be packaged differently and new programs may be in place that divert more materials from landfill. Currently, Kawartha Lakes is diverting almost 40% of waste from landfill. Even when the municipality reaches its goal of diverting 70% of waste from disposal through reduction, reuse and recycle programs, the municipality will still have to manage the garbage that remains.

The municipality generates 39,000 tonnes of garbage each year which is disposed across five landfills with the Lindsay Ops Landfill accepting 70% of all waste. The Lindsay Ops Landfill is anticipated to reach capacity in the next eight to 15 years and two other landfills (Fenelon and Laxton) are expected to reach capacity within the next two to four years. Some of that added pressure is expected to be offset by increased waste diversion through recycling programs for mattresses, construction/demolition, textiles and bulky plastics. Backyard composting has contributed to increased diversion and an organics program is anticipated in 2025.

Dillon Consulting was retained to do a Future Waste Options Study to help narrow the many waste disposal options available. This could help to streamline a future Environmental Assessment process, if needed, which can cost up to $5 million and take several years to complete.

The Study looked at the full range of options including landfill related options such as expansion, adding a new landfill, landfill mining, exporting waste outside the municipality and privatization of landfills. Alternative technologies such as mass burn incineration, gasification and mixed waste processing were also studied. The Study reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of each option in a generic manner, meaning that specific companies, facilities or sites were not assessed. However, potential partners such as Five Counties, Peel and Durham Regions were consulted for potential sharing of resources and facilities for exporting waste, mixed waste processing and mass burn incineration.

Landfill expansion was the highest ranking option in the generic study. It would cost $10 to $50 million for approvals, design and construction to expand the existing municipal landfill system. The associated operational costs would be equal to or less than current landfill costs per unit of capacity. The additional landfill gas could potentially be converted to an energy source.

Before moving forward with an Environmental Assessment, Kawartha Lakes is seeking feedback from the public and stakeholders on all waste disposal options explored in the Study to understand views on the social, environmental and financial impacts, and collect feedback on the preferred option, landfill expansion. The feedback will help determine the next steps including if additional options beyond the preferred option should be further explored.

Three ways to Jump In

  1. Learn more at the project page on Jump In, Kawartha Lakes about the various options, learn more about the study, ask your questions and participate in the survey.
  2. Attend the Virtual Open House on May 19 from 6pm to 8pm.  Learn about the Study, ask questions and provide feedback. To join the Open House please register online in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
  3. Attend the In Person Open house on June 14 from 4pm to 8pm at the Lindsay Recreation Complex in the Community Room. Please continue to visit for updates.

Following the public consultation, a report will be presented back to Council by the end of September.

Image: Chart showing weighted averages of nine options, landfill expansion preferred option

chart showing weighted results of all options with landfill expansion preferred

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