While there's no guarantee problems won't return, residents haven't complained about odours from the city's landfill on The Kingsway in a few months, city councillors heard Monday.
Following complaints this spring and last year about unpleasant smells wafting into residential neighbourhoods from the dump, more city staffers have been assigned to monitor operations there. What's needed is someone to do that full time, said Chantal Mathieu, the city's director of environmental services.
“While this has been effective in the short term, a more sustainable solution will be to identify a dedicated position to manage landfill operations,” Mathieu said in her report to the operations committee.
“The landfill operating contractor has also assigned one additional senior operator .. and the contractor’s management staff have also been visiting the site several times each week to assess any potential operational issues.”
Longer-term, she recommended taking a number of steps to ensure odour problems don't return. They include inspections of the leachate collection system, as well as of site operations.
“This includes, but is not limited to, landfill disposal methods, including daily cover, interim and final cover, composting processes, and leachate seep management.”
A consultant hired to review landfill operations recommended the city place a full-time staff member on site to oversee all operations. The consultant also called for “an independent and scientific review of potential odour sources.”
Staff will also review congestion problems at the landfill, which were particularly severe this year, in part because of the late winter.
“It was extremely busy this spring,” Mathieu said.
However, The Kingsway landfill is often busy, and they will look at such solutions as extending operating hours and adding a second scale or lane.
“These are all things we'll be (looking at) moving forward.”
Ward 11 Coun. Terry Kett, who ward includes the landfill, was pleased with the progress so far.
“But this is just an interim report,” Kett said. “I hope, now, there will be a next step.”
As part of the review of operations at the dump, Kett wondered if moving the area where compost is stored would help with the odour issue.
“Is there a possibility of moving the compost piles away from The Kingsway?”
It's possible, Mathieu said, but they won't know for sure until the internal review is complete.
“If you change one part of the solid waste policy, you affect the entire system,” she said.
Odour problems in New Sudbury were similar to chronic problems experienced in Lively for years, but in that case, the source was waste being dumped into a Vale tailings pond. That problem was addressed in 2012 when the city decided to build the $60-million biosolids plant on Kelly Lake Road.