The old landfill at Zeballos will shut down by 2023 and the waste will be transferred to Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM)’s engineered facility in Cumberland.
When the CSWM solid waste management plan was upgraded in 2012, it accessed that the old landfills in the region were not environment-friendly, said Marc Rutten, general manager of engineering services at Comox Strathcona Waste Management.
The facility at Cumberland has been operational since 2017 and has been processing waste from Comox since.
Most landfills built in the 60’s and 70’s are currently attenuating landfills –built without linings– without systems in place to collect contaminated water and treat them.
“As a result the contaminated water passes through the waste into the ground and we wanted to move away from this practice,” said Rutten.
The engineered landfill at Cumberland is a fully lined landfill with a high density polyethylene (HDPE) that will enable all the waste water to be collected and treated before it is released.
“The reason why we can’t convert the old landfills to accommodate this technology is because it is extremely expensive,” said Rutten.
After closure, the Zeballos landfill will be used as a transfer station.
The old landfills in neighbouring villages of Tahsis and Gold River will also be closed and waste transferred to the new facility approximately by 2023, said Rutten, and added that CSWM is currently working on finishing two other high-priority projects.
“Closure of the Campbell River landfill and the construction of an organic facility are two projects that’s using most of our resources and manpower right now,” said Rutten.