A new landfill dig is opening this week for Comox Valley’s garbage.
“Cell 2” is near completion at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, according to waste services manager Vivian Schau. The $14.8 million cell will hold trash several storeys high, across a surface comparable to 11 Canadian football fields.
The space is roughly equal to one million cubic metres, Schau said. That’s the size of a cube 100 metres long, 100 metres high, and 100 metres wide.
If waste trends continue in the Valley, the cell will be filled nearly ten years after it opens. That’s roughly the timeline observed so far with Cell 1, which opened in 2017.
Staff, however, hope this timeline won’t be the Valley standard. That’s one reason Comox Strathcona Waste Management hosted a public tour of the landfill on Saturday (July 8).
Waste reduction could go a long way in the Valley. Staff said locals create roughly 30 per cent more garbage than targets set out by the province of B.C., and that half the material sent to the landfill could have been recycled or composted.
Staff said the average resident produces about 530kg of trash each year, roughly the weight of an adult bull moose.
Schau, who was on-site Saturday, said there’s no better way to educate than by “showing people firsthand where their garbage goes and the care that goes into ensuring it’s disposed of properly.”
The tour passed several stations, each designed to repurpose or organize waste.
“Mattress mountain,” an area of piled bed mattresses, awaited shredding. The process saves space in landfills by breaking the stubborn and spongy furniture into pieces. Those pieces can then be spread across the landfill’s surface at night, protecting against rain and scavengers.
Nearly 160 people rode on the school bus-guided tour, which was first of its kind.