Part of the Cariboo Regional District’s Solid Waste Info Series:
The garbage from Williams Lake and area, including 150 Mile House, Horsefly, Wildwood, McLeese, Frost Creek, Chimney Lake, Alexis Creek, and Riske Creek, is disposed of at the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) Gibraltar Landfill. Two to four loads of waste are transported to the landfill in 53-foot walking floor trailers five days a week, each weighing approximately 19 tonnes. Annually there are between 12,000 and 13,000 tonnes of waste disposed of at the landfill.
The landfill is fully engineered, meaning its base is lined with an impermeable plastic that collects any landfill leachate and diverts it to an on-site treatment system, consisting of an aeration pond, a settling pond, and three wetland systems. Once a section or phase of the landfill is completed it is closed and reclaimed by placing the same impermeable plastic liner over the top of the waste to prevent any infiltration of precipitation. The top is capped with soil and seeded with grasses.
The landfill is not located in one of Gibraltar’s empty pits, as many assume. Its permitted footprint is located on the outside edge and top of one of Gibraltar’s waste rock disposal sites. Landfill construction has been focused on filling beside and against the outside edge of the rock dump slope to reach the same elevation as the rock dump’s top plateau. Since 2003 several phases of expansion and reclamation have been completed and in 2014 the first expansion occurred on the top of the plateau, which will allow for several years of landfilling without expansion construction.
The landfill costs amount to well over a million dollars annually or approximately $100 per tonne of waste. These costs are shared by the City of Williams Lake and the CRD, and can be reduced through waste reduction and diversion. The Conference Board of Canada recently compared the amount of municipal waste generated per capita, measured in kilograms between 17 countries, and Canada ranked last place, meaning per capita Canadians produce more waste (777 kg per capita per year) than any of its peer countries. Since 1990, Canada’s waste generation per capita has been steadily increasing causing us to fall behind the US and Australia. This is disturbing news, but understandable when we look at how many disposable and poorly made goods we purchase yearly.
Waste wise education is delivered to students in the Cariboo Regional District; however, the CRD would like to make waste education available to everyone, as we all have the ability to change our waste handling habits for the better. For more info on Waste Wise call (250) 398-7929 or find details on WasteWise activities and events at ccconserv.org.
Join the Cariboo Regional District this year to become waste wise and make a difference. For direct access to our monthly topics “Like” us on facebook at facebook.com/caribooregion, or online at cariboord.ca, or look for our articles in your local paper.