By Chad Ingram
If you want to avoid traffic at an Algonquin Highlands landfill this summer, try not going on a holiday Monday.
During an April 4 meeting, councillors for the township received a staff report on solid waste management for 2018.
to the report, the collective traffic flow though the township’s four
landfills and one transfer station was just more than 60,000 vehicles
for the year. Much of that traffic count manifests itself during the
cottaging season of the summer months, and within those summer months,
long weekends stand out as the periods of heaviest traffic.
analysis of summer traffic by day of the week (during 24 weeks from May
2 to Oct. 10, Thanksgiving, 2017) show us significant peaks,” the
report reads. “It is quite evident where the long weekends occur. Sunday
traffic is heavy across all sites, holiday Monday traffic is the
heaviest. This analysis, and input from attendants, identified Fridays
(particularly at Maple and Dorset) as heavy traffic days, much more than
A graph showed vehicles
per day for holiday Mondays ranging from more than 600 to almost 850.
The township operates landfills at Maple Lake, Hawk Lake, Pine Springs
and Oxtongue Lake, and a transfer station at Dorset. Staff adjustments
were made to accommodate these peak periods in 2018.
for the type of waste residents are bringing to disposal sites, by
weight, 42 per cent of the waste collected in 2018 was household
garbage; 27 per cent was construction and demolition waste; nine per
cent fibre; eight per cent scrap metal; eight per cent containers; four
per cent mattresses; and two per cent was constituted by electronic and
hazardous household waste.
About 85,000 bags of household garbage were brought to Algonquin Highlands landfills in 2018.
waste diversion rate for residential waste in the township has hovered
at around 35 per cent for the past few years. The residue rate –
“residue” is material that must be removed from blue boxes in order for
the material to be recycled – has climbed during the past few years.
While in 2014 the township’s residue rate was approximately 10 per cent,
it was 16 per cent for 2018.
in large part due to stricter requirements for saleable product
necessitating increased sorting and removal of more materials as
residue,” the report reads. “Changes in market demand means there is
much less tolerance for improper or dirty materials.”
Carol Moffatt said the report shows “how tremendous public
participation is in our programs, but at the same time, how much better
we can do.”
Operations manager Adam
Thorn said the township is trying to increase public education.
Residents may not know, for example, that if plastic containers are not
clean of food, they go into general waste, or that recyclables should be
deposited in bins loosely, not in bags.
of the township’s landfills – at Hawk Lake and Pine Springs – are
reaching the end of their lifespans, with approximately three and four
and half years remaining, respectively. The lifespan for the landfill at
Maple Lake is estimated at just less than 60 years, and the one at
Oxtongue Lake just more than 70.
“Managing waste is going to be a huge challenge and a huge problem for all the municipalities going forward,” Moffatt said.
report also shows that the addition of a compactor at the Dorset
transfer station in 2016 is saving the township money on haulage.