A team from Waste Management met with Big Valley council at their Feb. 25 meeting to provide some information about the company’s landfill situated west of Big Valley on Highway 590.
Rina Blacklaws and Solomiya Lyaskovska from Communications/Community Relations and Paul Burns, Director of Operations, ran through the history of the company in the Big Valley area.
The facility, which is a Class II industrial landfill accepting construction/demolition debris, contaminated soils and industrial waste, began construction in 1990 and started operating in 1992.
On average, 200 tons of waste per day comes into the landfill. At times, the tonnage has reached 2000 tons per day when a special project, such as a demolition, is underway.
Covering 150 hectares, 45 of which are permitted for waste disposal, the landfill has a life expectancy of another 59 years.
The facility does not accept hazardous waste or municipal waste. Waste Management provides garbage pick up to the village free of charge. The municipal waste is then hauled to Stettler landfill. The garbage fee residents pay covers the charges from the Stettler landfill.
The company is an active supporter of Big Valley non-profit and charitable groups and conducts school demonstrations.
Students learn about waste management, recycling and landfill operation. Blacklaws described visiting a classroom and building a model landfill with the students using candy as the medium to represent waste.
Waste Management plans to hold an open house in Big Valley likely in March.
Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the facility and respond to any complaints the public may have.
According to Blacklaws, the landfill has only had one recent complaint about mud being tracked onto the highway from trucks leaving the facility.
The facility has a sweeper to clean the highway. They also have rumble strips in place to shake excess mud and gravel from the tires. Burns stated they also maintain the roadways at the facility to keep them well graveled and compacted.
According to Waste Management of Canada’s website, the company employs 3400 people in nine provinces. They operate 116 locations of which 20 are recycling recovery facilities and 18 are landfills. Big Valley is one of two landfills in Alberta. The second is in Edmonton.