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Waterloo landfill will be full in 15-20 years: regional officials

Once it is full, the landfill will be covered with a clay cap and likely be left to turn into a naturalized area
2018-03-15 - Garbage bags - AB
Garbage bags at the curb. Photo/iStock

There are just 15 to 20 years left until the landfill in Waterloo reaches its limit, and can’t be filled with any more garbage.

Once it is full, the region will begin working on plans to cover up the landfill and use it as a recreational area.

Project manager of the region’s Waste Management Program, Cari Howard, tells the Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS, there is a lot of engineering that goes into the closing of a landfill.

“There’s a clay cap that goes on top to help keep moisture out, and we’re still responsible for doing testing and monitoring at all of those closed sites for a number of years. So if you think of how long those sites have been closed, we still have engineers and technologists on staff, keeping an eye on them and making sure they aren’t impacting our environment.”

Howard says it will take many, many years after the landfill is closed, for the area to be considered safe for recreational use.

“There’s a lot of settling that happens but eventually, the fences around the site will come down and the end use plan for the site as it stands right now, we refer to it as passive recreation. So there will be trails and we will let the nearby forest, where the hydrocut trails are, we will let those trees grow over the site, and hopefully mother nature will reclaim as much of it as possible.”

The Waterloo landfill currently helps generate energy.

Regional officials collect methane gas from the landfill, which is used to power approximately four-thousand homes in the region.

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