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Stage 2 Public Meeting on the Future of Brady Road Landfill – Summary of Questions and Answers
This is a summary of the questions raised at the public meeting, along with the responses provided. Note that the questions and answers are paraphrased and provide a representation of the dialogue that occurred at the public meeting.
- Odour is an issue and was really bad this year. What is being done to deal with this?
The odour this year is mainly related to the increased amount of biosolids received at Brady. At the beginning of September we started trying a new cover method, which so far is proving to be a good solution. We encourage feedback from residents through 311 on any odour issues.
- How is composting going to be different from recent private composting operations, which have created significant odour problems? How can we guarantee that our composting operations will not produce the same odours?
Odour should not be an issue with a properly run composting operation. We intend to compost properly and according to the licence.
- The McGillivray composting operation did not compost sewage sludge and still has bad odour problems. How can we be guaranteed that this won't happen once Brady starts composting? What can the public do if there are problems in the future?
Composting has been carried out at Brady for 21 years with no odour problems. Enhanced composting operations will be regulated, including odours. We will follow up and address all odour issues. We encourage feedback from residents through 311 on any odour issues.
- Why was residential zoning allowed around Brady? How is zoning being handled with respect to odour?
Odour was not considered to be a limitation to residential development north of Brady based on experience with developments near facilities such as the North End sewage treatment facility. Also, there may be additional distance from the landfill because of planned business/commercial use immediately north of the Perimeter Highway.
- Where are bio-waste and biosolids coming from? This is a major issue.
Biosolids come from the solids fraction of sewage treatment. This material was mostly applied to agricultural land prior to December 31, 2010. With new regulations, this practice is no longer an option. Planning is underway to develop and implement alternatives to burying biosolids. One alternative is to compost a portion of the biosolids at Brady using techniques proven to be acceptable in other cities, such as in Edmonton.
- Are biosolids from outside of Winnipeg being taken at Brady?
- How is leachate treatment different from how sewage is treated?
While leachate is much more potent than sewage, the treatment methods are the same. Winnipeg's treatment practices rank amongst the best in Canada.
- What are the alternatives for leachate treatment so that less has to be transported?
We continue to examine alternatives for leachate treatment, such as a dedicated treatment plant located at the landfill.
- Brady is too far. In dirtiest parts of the city residents have no money or vehicles to bring waste to Brady, which results in illegal dumping. How is this going to be dealt with?
The Garbage and Recycling Master Plan recently approved by Council includes establishing up to four Community Resource Recovery Centres where residents could drop off material that could be processed and reused, resold or recycled (e.g., construction and demolition material, household items). This should help reduce illegal dumping.
- Why can't all the waste streams be separated like in European systems? Why are we throwing everything away instead of diverting it?
European diversion systems have evolved over a long period of time as alternatives to landfilling because of lack of land for disposal. Winnipeg's new Garbage and Recycling Master Plan is a significant commitment to diverting more waste.
- Is there an asbestos management plan? How is it being treated?
We have a management plan to deal with proper burial of asbestos at Brady.
Composting / Organics
- How are plastic bags handled in the yard waste composting operation? How are they currently being separated in our "Leaf it with us" program?
Currently the plastic bags are ground up with the leaves and yard waste and the material is composted to produce a low quality compost for landscaping use at the landfill.
- When will plastic bags be banned for yard waste collection?
The new yard waste collection program will start in the fall of 2012 and will only collect material placed in compostable leaf and yard waste bags, or hard-walled containers (e.g., standard size garbage cans, blue boxes). Plastic bags will not be accepted as they are not biodegradable and would contaminate the finished compost.
- Why will it take five years to get a kitchen waste collection program? How will the kitchen waste be collected?
Kitchen waste collection and composting is much more complex and costly than yard waste. Work will start on this program soon. However, it typically takes about five years to determine and implement the most effective and economical system. Kitchen waste is typically collected in small green roll out carts.
- Is the City partnering with BFI (Prairie Green) on a business organics composting program?
- Can Brady filling be done to create flood protection tying into the perimeter system for St. Norbert?
No, because dikes containing garbage are not acceptable flood protection structures.
- Are there any studies as to what happens if Brady is flooded?
Flooding at Brady would be an extreme event and we are addressing this in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
- What is the cost of the proposed changes at Brady?
We don't know the exact cost yet since it is depends on the outcome of the licence application.
- How high is the site going to be? What are the development stages? A plan is needed that can be followed and will you be coming back to the public for feedback?
The site will be 28 metres above prairie level (current maximum height). We will update the public and seek comment as we develop the site improvements.
- Is there going to be a new entrance to Brady?
Changes to access locations on the Perimeter near Brady are under review by the Province and may include a different access route to Brady.
- Is there a guarantee that the landfill gas system will be installed within six to eight months as promised? And will it remove most of the odour?
The installation should begin in the spring of 2012 and be operational in the fall. The landfill gas system will support other measures such as better cover, a smaller working area and less organics burial to control odours.
- Have there been any studies into selling the land at Brady and using the money to relocate the site?
Relocating a landfill is a very resource intensive process. There would be no cost benefit in doing this since an alternate suitable site would not likely be found in Winnipeg.
- What is the impact of Brady on property and land values?
The experience with the BFI Landfill in the R.M. of Rosser and with wind farms is that there is no measurable impact on land values near such facilities. Current housing prices in Waverley West also indicate there is no impact.
- Why was there information in the media that Brady would be closing soon?
We have always been transparent about the long life of Brady Landfill and have not announced any intent to close Brady soon.