Phase 3 represents planned expansion for the Prince Rupert landfill.

Phase 3 represents planned expansion for the Prince Rupert landfill.

Prince Rupert Landfill upgrades to cost $9.5 million by 2018

Extensive work at the Prince Rupert Landfill is underway.

Extensive work at the Prince Rupert Landfill is underway.

An estimated $9.5 million in upgrades will be completed at the Prince Rupert Landfill by the end of 2018, with the City of Prince Rupert picking up the tab for any portion not funded by grants.

Commissioned in 1991, the Prince Rupert Landfill was given a lifespan of up to 100 years.

The landfill receives more than 12,000 tonnes of waste per year, using more than 24,000 cubic metres of space. While this number was consistent for years, volumes have been growing recently because of regional development, multiple residential home demolitions, an increase in home renovations, more stringent wood burning policies, and multiple commercial building fires. Staff has kept filling within the leachate containment area causing the air space within the dump’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 footprint to become completely exhausted.

“As a result the landfill has risen to a higher level than originally planned and during its operations the slopes have been constructed at steeper angles than specified by the Ministry of Environment,” said Richard Pucci, the city’s engineering coordinator.

To maintain compliance with the ministry and buy time until the Phase 3 footprint is ready for use, Sperling Hansen Associates, an engineering consulting firm specializing in solid waste management, recommended the city expand the dump with buttress fills starting with the east.The first part of the work on the east was completed in spring with the creation of a berm road. The project cost the city $166,000, $113,000 more than Sperling Hansen Associates had projected. But because the funds were taken from the department’s accruals, the overage won’t impact the city’s 2014 budget.

The next piece of work will begin this month when engineered liners and a collection system are constructed behind the berm to contain leachate and bring it to the treatment system. Pucci said this will cost $1.5 million with the Engineering and Public Works Department recommending the funds be allocated from the city’s gas tax funds.

When the eastern buttress fill is complete it will provide two years worth of anticipated landfill capacity.

Work on the west expansion berm, pump station and liner will take place throughout the spring and summer of 2016 at an expected overall cost of $2.2 million. This will provide capacity until the end of 2017.

During this time, $1.5 million of work will be done to create Phase 3 of the landfill and another $1.4 million will be spent to close the eastern portion of Phase 1 and 2. By 2018, Pucci said the city should be able to transition into the Phase 3 area, which is expected to provide approximately 54 years of capacity at the current residential waste intake rate. There is also an additional cell in the northern part of the permit area that has approximately 35 years worth of air space.

The last of work schedule to take place at the dump is the closure of Phase 1 and 2’s western portion, estimated at $1.3 million, and upgrading the leachate treatment system at a cost of approximately $2 million as, currently, collected leachate discharged into the ocean is impacted by contaminants.