The City of Kawartha Lakes (City) is facing limited disposal capacity within its landfill sites which is similar to the Provincial disposal capacity that is also diminishing. The Future Waste Disposal Options Study (Study) was undertaken to review alternative options to manage residual waste (i.e., garbage) once the City’s capacity is exhausted. The Lindsay Ops landfill, which receives over 70% (2022) of the City’s garbage, is estimated to reach capacity by 2037 based on current disposal rates and approved capacity.
Garbage is waste that can’t be diverted from disposal through reduction, reuse, composting or recycling. What’s in the garbage bag today will not look the same in the future because packaging changes and new diversion programs are available. In 2022, the City diverted about 35% of waste from disposal and over 42,000 tonnes of garbage was disposed in the City landfill sites. The Council approved “Making Waste Matter: Integrated Waste Management Strategy” set a target of 70% diversion from disposal by 2048. Even when the City reaches its diversion goal, the City will still have to manage the garbage that remains.
Dillon was retained by the City in 2020 to conduct the Study, which included reviewing background and historical information about the City’s landfill and waste management system, analyzing current and future residual waste quantities, assessing different alternative disposal technologies and landfill-related options, evaluating disposal options and identifying implementation considerations for the preferred option.
Several non-landfill related waste disposal technologies that handle residual waste and are employed in Ontario and worldwide were assessed as options for this Study. These alternative disposal technologies include: combustion, gasification, pyrolysis and mixed waste processing. Landfill-related options that were considered include: expansion, new greenfield site, landfill mining and/or reclamation, export and privatization of City facilities. These options were reviewed and analyzed in materials managed, outputs, costs, operational experience, etc. Interviews with municipalities, individuals and companies were conducted to assess potential partnerships and similar interests in the identified options.
An evaluation assessment tool was developed to compare options through triple bottom line criteria considering the economic feasibility, social impacts and environmental impacts. Landfill expansion of an existing City-owned landfill site(s) was identified as the recommended option.
Additionally, Dillon led the public consultation on the Study process and the draft results which involved an online public survey, video, newsletters, social media promotion, a project engagement page on the City’s Jump In platform, two open houses (virtual and in-person) and a stakeholder meeting. In May 2023, Council adopted the Study findings including recommended next steps on pursuing landfill expansion which will involve completion of an Individual Environmental Assessment.