of The Crossroads
People across the west central region now have a new location to dispose of their waste. A long-awaited regional landfill has opened to the west of Kindersley.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 5 at the site of the landfill about 10 km west of Kindersley and south of Highway 7. The landfill was built by Loraas Environmental Services Ltd., and the company will also operate the landfill with oversight from an appointed board.
The Western Regional Landfill Inc. (WRLI) is the name of the corporation responsible for the landfill. The WRLI board consists of appointees from 19 member municipalities. The landfill group first became incorporated in June 2013.
[emember_protected for=”2″ custom_msg=’For more on this story, please see this week’s print edition of The Cross Roads.’]
Jim Wilson, vice-president of the WRLI board, cut the ribbon on the weigh scale surrounded by representatives of member municipalities and Loraas. After the ribbon had been cut, a load of waste was delivered by a Loraas garbage truck as part of the ceremony. The truck was weighed on the scale, and then it drove down into the cell where people watched as it dumped its load of household waste collected from the Town of Kindersley.
The three largest partners in the project are the Town of Kindersley, Town of Kerrobert and the Rural Municipality of Kindersley. A total of 15 other villages and rural municipalities from the region are members and partners in the project. Construction of the landfill began in the summer of 2017.
Anyone from anywhere will be able to take waste to the facility, but the tipping rates are different for people who live in the 19 member municipalities. Money will not be accepted at the facility, but there will be a debit machine for the ease of use by the public.
The tipping rates are $100 per tonne for people in member municipalities and $200 per tonne for everyone else. The rates include an additional administration fee of $10. The operating hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
People who are delivering common household waste and smaller loads of materials will be directed to bins on site after they have used the weigh scale. Members municipalities with cart collection programs and transfer stations will maintain the services, so very little is expected to change for their ratepayers.
Kim Vogel, the director of transportation and environmental services for the Town of Kindersley, is a member of the WRLI board. She told people at the ceremony that the process for the regional landfill took nearly six years.
She noted that there were nearly 40 municipalities participating in discussions early in the process, but only 19 of them have stuck with the project. The other municipalities left the corporation for various reasons. The members have contributed funds to develop the landfill, Vogel said.
According to Vogel, discussions about waste needs started between Kindersley and Kerrobert, and then other municipalities joined the discussion. New environmental regulations have made it costly to operate and expand landfills, so a regional project worked for WRLI members with the faith to see the project through to completion, she said.
Wilson, who was a councillor for the RM of Mariposa when discussions about the project started, has stayed on the WRLI board as a member at large on behalf of rural municipalities. He said he is excited to see the landfill open and accepting waste.
“It’s nice to see that we’re at this point because there was a lot of meetings,” he said, recognizing that he has been involved in discussions about landfills for up to nine years and the board has worked hard over the past couple of years.
He noted that he was Mariposa’s representative on the board, but he decided to stay involved after he left council because he wanted to see the project through to completion. Mariposa needed an option because the municipality had closed its landfill and started hauling waste to Kerrobert, but the town’s landfill was filling up, he said.
Wilson said the municipality has also maintained its involvement because it made sense due the costs involved in landfills. The West Central Municipal Government Committee helped with connecting the landfill’s members, he said.
Terry Dunn, a councillor in Kerrobert who is on the WRLI board, said the town still has some space in its own landfill, but the town was running out of space and an option was needed. The regional landfill project became the answer, he said.
“The regulations were getting more and more stringent from the province for establishing or expanding landfills, and it seemed an ideal time to team up with the other communities that were facing the same problem,” Dunn said, recognizing that he feels great to see the completion of the project.
He noted that the community has a cart collection program for household waste. Dunn said it is better now to have a facility in place that will serve the municipality for anywhere from 70 to 120 years. The town will run a transfer station at its landfill, he said.
Ruebecca Fiddler, the branch manager for Loraas in North Battleford and Kindersley, said residents of the area now have another option for their waste disposal needs and the company is “extremely happy to see the gates open.”
She said the company’s objective was to get an initial layer of waste over the geotechnical liner before the temperature hits -40C. Fiddler said the company is satisfied and it will be nice to open the gates to the general public. The company is pleased to be a part of west central Saskatchewan, she said.
Aaron Loraas, the president and owner of Loraas Environmental Services, said the west central region is an economic engine in the province and the area is important to the company. He said the company is excited to be active in the region and part of an important project.
“This is a key thing for any community to have,” he added, recognizing that communities need to ahve a safe place to store waste to prevent contamination in the environment. “That’s a very big thing, so we’re happy to be a part of that.”