In a recent letter to the editor, Brian Hughes suggests that regional governments should “stop whining and actually do something about the problem” of methane gas at the Campbell Mountain landfill site.
I would like to direct your readers to the updated RDOS Solid Waste Management Plan. The plan was created through extensive public consultation, including a volunteer public advisory committee made up of local residents and businesses. It provides a series of strategies to manage waste, recycling and organic materials.
As always, it is important to be fiscally responsible, so the plan includes the projected costs as well as the greenhouse gas reduction potential of all major programs. The RDOS board adopted the new Solid Waste Management Plan in 2011.
The plan calls for the collection of all food waste from homes and businesses in the RDOS. This includes providing green bins to residential homes. This multi-million dollar commitment, made by the RDOS, will significantly reduce waste going to local landfills and prolong the life of these facilities.
The RDOS has invested in studies to determine the viability of generating power from methane generated at Campbell Mountain landfill. Due to our dry climate, lack of water and landfill design, green power is not an option. The latest provincial requirement at the Campbell Mountain landfill will result in a small intermittent flare to burn off gases at a huge cost to local taxpayers.
We believe we have a better solution.
Ongoing research has shown that thick layers of compost can naturally break down methane released from landfills; in some cases more effectively than landfill gas flaring. A compost layer has the potential to be a cost-effective way to destroy methane as well as beautify the landfill with rich vegetation. Rather than spending millions on a landfill gas strategy, I believe the RDOS would be better served by using the funds to help develop food waste collection and other components of our Solid Waste Management Plan. This would be a much more cost effective and environmentally sustainable use of those local funds.
I look forward to continuing this discussion and to implementing these and other environmental initiatives.
Gary Litke, chair
RDOS Environment and Infrastructure Committee