Landfill Utility Requests Optional Initiatives
The landfill could be a lot more convenient to access, more efficient as well as the potential of producing power from the methane gas produced from decaying organic waste explored if two initiatives costing $230,000 are approved by Council.
During their Wednesday night presentation to Budget Committee the Engineering Department requested five initiatives for the Landfill. Three of the initiatives are mandatory in order to maintain the permit to operate the landfill (See Related Story) and two are optional. The Landfill is operated and part of the Solid Waste Utility.
Second Weigh Scale - Cost $180,000
The optional initiatives include purchasing a second weigh scale and doing a study to look into the potential of generating electricity from the methane gas vented from the Landfill.
Speaking to Budget Committee to request the new weigh scale City Works Manager Darrin Stephanson said purchasing a second weigh scale for the landfill would “mitigate traffic issues at the landfill.”
At the present time the City uses only one weigh scale and cannot weigh each load going in and going out of the landfill and when there is multiple vehicles hauling they cannot weigh every vehicle as they should, Stephanson told Budget Committee.
“Twenty eight thousand (28,000) loads annually are not weighed to mitigate traffic issues,” he said adding when loads are not weighed they are estimated at 270 kilograms per load.
Having more accurate tonnage data would allow the Utility to better estimate such things as airspace used in the landfill, he said.
Air space is the area used by the landfill and there is only a certain elevation the Provincial permit to operate the landfill will allow the dump to reach. Additionally as the landfill is filled it must now start contouring itself in order to achieve the permitted height.
The $180,000 weigh scale, if purchased, has a 25 year life span and can be moved to a new landfill site, Stephanson said.
The present City of Moose Jaw landfill has an estimated remaining life span of three to five years at which time a new landfill must be up and running. The useful life of the landfill can be extended if residents properly recycle and compost to limit the amount of trash.
SEE RELATED - Recycling Leads To Big Savings
METHANE GAS EVALUATION - Cost $50,000
The Landfill Utility also requested “$50,000 to evaluate the quantity and potential use of landfill gases,” Stephanson said, adding many other landfills elsewhere utilize the methane gas venting from them to produce power.
Methane is a greenhouse gas landfills produce from decomposing organic matter which is considered more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide which is said to be a major cause in Global Warming and Climate Change.
At the present time the landfill does produce methane which is vented.
“If methane is not vented it can cause a large explosion,” he said.
The evaluation would not only look at how much methane the landfill is venting but also if that methane is of sufficient quantity to produce electricity after the landfill is decommissioned in five years.