Prince Rupert’s landfill is filling up.
A resident received a letter from the city’s director of operations dated March 27, stating that the city can no longer accept buildings, boats, trailers or mobile homes in the landfill.
The landfill has seen a “massive increase in the amount of waste taken into the landfill since 2013, due to speculative development surrounding a potential LNG industry as well as several structure fires,” said Veronika Stewart, communications manager for the city, in an email on April 6.
To make sure the landfill would not reach maximum capacity before the next cell is ready, the city calculated how much waste is currently in the landfill and the anticipated annual amount they expect to add. The city decided to temporarily prohibit certain larger garbage items until they can assess the expansion, when they will know if they can lift the restriction before the 2021 cell opens.
“Individuals or companies with these volumes of waste are requested to look at the necessity of their demolition project or, if required, seek alternate methods of disposal. These methods can range from full dismantle and recycle of individual components, to application with the Ministry of Environment for incineration permits, to out of area disposal,” Stewart said in an email on Monday, after retracting the city’s previous statement the Northern View published on Saturday.
The next closest landfill site is in Terrace, at their new facility.
In the meantime, the city-run landfill is still accepting other, less onerous, garbage from residents. While renovation waste is also still accepted, the city asks residents to recycle plastics, green wood and metal.
CEO of Lax Kw’alaams Business Development, Erminio Pucci, said he hasn’t heard that the temporary ban has affected the First Nation band’s clean up efforts. Lax Kw’alaams is currently removing junk from their harbour and demolishing the old school. They’ve been grinding down the non-metal materials from the school, and Pucci said when he visited the area on April 4, the process was going well.
In the District of Port Edward, which also uses the Prince Rupert Landfill, chief administration officer Bob Payette said the restrictions will mostly affect private businesses.
“They would have to take those things to Terrace, so it’ll just be whatever that additional cost is,” Payette said. “Terrace does have a brand new location. It’s just a little further away, but it’s still available. Overall, I think it’s not great, but there’s a solution.”