The Golden landfill is now expected to close in 2080, nearly 18 years earlier than originally anticipated.
That’s according to an updated report from Golder Associates Ltd, an environmental engineering firm specializing in landfill design and management.
Commissioned by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), the report included an updated design, operation and closure plan for the landfill.
“Regional districts are required to update design and operations plans,” said Ben Van Nostrand, the team leader in environmental health sciences for the CSRD. “Once those have been updated by using professional consultants those plans are then submitted to the ministry for approval.”
Many elements from the original plan remain in the updated plan, however there are some changes.
“I think the most significant change is the recommendation to move away from an unlined landfill to a line landfill. The term for that is an engineered landfill,” said Van Nostrand. “ That means that once we’re done phase one, all future phases would be constructed with a liner to prevent liquids from flowing down into the ground.”
According to the report, the average annual disposal rate for the Golden landfill exceeds 5,000 tonnes per year, and the amount of waste already placed in the landfill is estimated to be about 190,000 tonnes.
As a result, Golder recommended a base liner and leachate collection system in order to align with the landfill criteria, which is set by the B.C. Ministry of Environment.
The updated plan also sets a potential closure date for approximately 2080. In that time, Golder estimates that the landfill will receive about 430,000 tonnes of waste between now and then.
“Given the ministries work load and priorities, it can take them awhile to review them,” said Van Nostrand. “We have assurances from the Ministry that Golden is a priority and I think they’re reviewing them as we speak.”
Once the plan has been approved, Van Nostrand says that the CSRD will be hosting a meeting to share the results from that process with the public. Van Nostrand fully expects the Ministry to be present at that meeting as well, to answer any questions that the public may have about the plan and the process.
“They should be able to provide any answers that the public may have about the process and their approval process,” said Van Nostrand. “As soon as the ministry has approved the plan, we will be advertising and posting when we will be hosting that meeting.”
As for the CSRD, at this point there isn’t much more they can do but disseminate the information they have while they wait for approval from the Ministry.
“I think we’ve done our part in sharing the information online, the approval process is out of our hands. It’s with the approving agency now,” said Van Nostrand. “People can try to get a hold of someone from the Ministry if they want to express their concerns over any information that is within those documents.”