Melfort needs a new landfill cell

City of Melfort photo. Melfort is in the process of decommissioning its current landfill cell and making plans to build a new one.

Nicole Goldsworthy
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

MELFORT – Melfort City council has reviewed the 2023 Melfort Regional Landfill report that confirmed the need of a new landfill cell. 

The City of Melfort currently contracts Greenland Waste Inc. to collect their solid waste through a curbside program. The city also has various partnerships for recycling, namely Melfort EcoCentre, Greenland Waste Inc. and Plus Industries. 

The City of Melfort’s current landfill usage reports indicated that in 2023, Melfort produced 43,443 metric tonnes of solid waste. These weights are recorded separately (Urban Disposals). Waste disposed of during the city’s spring/fall clean-up are recorded under free use as well as any waste collected through city operational activities or from city facilities. The city promotes waste diversion and stockpiles items to be removed from the landfill at a later stage. These items are recorded and include grain bags, tires, steel, etc. 

A recent airspace assessment was completed in October 2023, calculating the total remaining airspace of the current cell to be 48,583 m3. Based on tonnage disposed in 2023, apparent density and industry averages, the current cell will reach capacity in April 2025. 

The City of Melfort’s report indicated that the expense of building a new cell cannot be avoided, however by diverting waste, the useful life of the current cell can be extended and the construction expenses for future cells can be delayed. Curbside collection of waste is currently offered to more than 2,100 households. The collection, removal and disposal of wastes and recyclables in the City of Melfort is on a bi-weekly basis, on alternating weeks, in all residential zones. A collection schedule and residential zone map is available on the City of Melfort’s website.

An objective for 2024 is resident education and engagement to promote activities that reduce waste management costs through minimization and diversion options. The city’s curbside recycling program was introduced to help this initiative. Other programs currently offered by the city include spring/fall cleanup, the EcoCentre, and the household hazardous waste program. The city also supports many local diversion programs. An extensive list can be found on the city website. The city receives support through the (Multi Material Stewardship Western) MMSW to assist with resident engagement.

Due to the limited remaining life of the current cell, planning has started for the design and construction of a new engineered cell and leachate system. This plan assists the city to comply with the Ministry of Environment’s regulations and industry best practices. Landfill expansion is based on projected waste volume and population growth. The city will be making significant investment into the landfill over the next three years. It is planned that this new cell will be constructed in 2024. Based upon the final closure design and transition between cells, the cell closure will be progressive and aimed to be completed by Fall 2026 to meet all requirements for funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

 The landfill is open to all residents of Melfort and the trading area, Monday to Saturday (9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.), closed Sunday and all statutory holidays. Waste disposal fees of accepted material are reviewed and updated annually. Waste allowed for disposal is determined by the Permit to Operate issued by the Ministry of Environment.