The Drumheller Regional Landfill is on target for completion of phase one upgrades to the landfill.
The upgrades will allow the landfill to meet new Alberta regulations, and will give the landfill extended life of operation. The estimated deadline for phase one completion is the middle of September.
“As of today we are on schedule, however with all the rainfall lately, I am not sure how long that will last,” said Waste Management Coordinator for the Drumheller & District Regional Landfill, Tammi Nygaard.
Phase one will allow garbage to be placed on a liner that is made up of non permeable soil, keeping possibly contaminated fluid from being absorbed into the ground. The fluid will then be sent through the new leachate collection system that will transport the fluid to the sewage treatment plant.
The new leachate collectionsystem will be placed in eight new dumping areas or cells after phase one completion.
“This will give us at least 15 more years of life,” said Nygaard.
Also included in phase one is a new retention/detention pond, run on, run off control system, and many reinstalled ground water monitoring wells.
“The purpose for these is to keep leachate out of our ground water,” said Nygaard. “Leachate comes from decomposed garbage. It is highly toxic, and is not very nice for fish or aquatic environment.”
Phase two will include the expansion of the regional recycling program and a new composting facility. Recycling depots will be constructed and placed within the service region, allowing the public and commercial enterprises an opportunity to recycle their household and light commercial wastes.
The ability to recycle more materials will conserve space in the landfill.
The final step is phase three, and will include more cells for dumping. Phase three will likely not be built for many years.
“If our new composting and recycling programs work well, then we may not need phase three for a long time,” said Nygaard.
The money for this project was awarded back in 2007, with money being given three ways between federal, provincial and municipal funds. The Canada-Alberta Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CAMRIF) awarded the Landfill $5.2 million for the project. The total cost of the project was $7.8 million.