Every fall the Manitoba Association of Regional Recyclers holds a forum and tours about waste diversion and recycling. It was five webinars in 2020.
This year’s forum was in person with a focus on the circular economy.
It began with an afternoon tour on November 2.
The bus took us to the old Summit Road landfill. It was opened in the 1940’s and closed in the early 2000’s. It is flat without much cover causing drainage and leachate problems. The City of Winnipeg has a ten-year project fabricating soil to cover it.
The soil is created by making two windrows of wood ships like the outside of a taco. Biosolids from the sewage treatment plant are placed in the middle. Sand recovered from street sweeping covers it up. This sits for 6 – 12 months and then is spread back and forth with a bulldozer to create a layer of soil.
The area is being built up 12 inches; 6 inches at a time. A cover crop is planted after the first six inches. When it is finished, native prairie grasses and plants are planted.
This layer provides better cover that reduces the amount of water entering the landfill which produces toxic leachate.
The second stop was Brady landfill. There are stations at the entrance for all the recyclable items and compostable yard waste. The only fee is a charge for mattresses. Anything that is left (which usually isn’t very much) goes to the landfill for a $20.00 minimum tipping fee.
We also saw the compost area and the methane burner that reduces the greenhouse gases escaping the landfill.
It is great to see how other communities are reducing waste.