The London landfill will be full by 2024 and politicians will have to decide what to do

With the city’s landfill expected to reach capacity in two years, the City of London will attend a committee meeting on Tuesday to discuss expanding the facility in the south.

City officials recommend politicians agree to a doubling of the current capacity by increasing the maximum height of the site by 26 meters and extending the capacity of landfill W12 until 2049.

This is part of the city’s long-term residual waste disposal strategy. The proposal would still have to undergo an Environmental Assessment (EA) and be approved by the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Parks.

The proposed design will add 9.9 million tons to the landfill capacity, as well as approximately five percent more capacity for neighboring communities such as Huron, Perth, Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex Counties.

District 12 Conc. Elizabeth Peloza says that if the proposal is approved, the province’s approval could come at any time between late March and September this year.

Tight schedule, thorough process

After numerous public consultations with various municipalities since 2017, the report will show what the expansion would look like and what effects it will have.

“It was a very big process and the deliberations involved local First Nations communities and we kept the public informed,” said Jay Stanford, the city’s director of climate change, environment and waste management.

Initially, the city thought it had until next year to approve the proposal, but the updated report suggests that the schedule is quickly getting shorter.

“We thought we had until around 2025, but we’re still pushing to get all of our reports back-to-back to make sure the ministry is okay with our previous reports. We’re on a tight schedule,” Peloza said.

The city will begin the next stage of the engineering studies required under the Environmental Protection Act to fill the outstanding work gaps.

“We will start these projects earlier than originally expected and that will help save time once we get final approval from the provincial government,” said Stanford.

Green garbage cans are coming to London soon

London will not receive a Green Bins pilot in the Lambeth area until autumn this year at the earliest.

The pilot project will help the city achieve its 60 percent waste separation target – a provincial criterion set for all municipalities – which must be met before landfill extensions can be approved.

“Currently the city has a 45 percent waste department and I’m glad that there is this scrutiny and balancing act to hold all communities accountable for draining it as much as possible,” Peloza said.

Peloza urges residents to weigh up how the bins should be brought in, what they should contain, and the choice between kitchen or outdoor containers.

Peloza hopes to stay ahead of potential delays due to local and provincial elections scheduled for this year. However, she is optimistic that the timeline will not be compromised.

“We have two years left so there is no concern at the moment, we are still good on our schedule,” she said.

Stanford added that the city will work with the province to address next steps should challenges arise along the way.

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