by Ashley Janes
Two weeks after Council requested a report from Town Administration that would analyze the feasibility of operating a transfer station in Morinville, they heard a presentation from Susan Berry, the manager of the Roseridge Landfill.
Roseridge infrastructure due for an upgrade
In her Oct. 28 presentation, Susan Berry reported that the site, now operating since 1981, has a few issues, the primary one being aging infrastructure.
Residents wanting to utilize the site’s recycling services have asked Berry why they are forced to wait in the same line as those weighing in to deposit waste, and the infrastructure problem is the reason why. “Our entrance isn’t wide enough to accommodate more than two lanes of traffic and we don’t have places where traffic can egress and ingress out of that area.”
She would remind residents that Morinville’s curb-side waste disposal and recycling is unlimited, and that more traffic simply leads to higher operational costs. “It is more cost effective and convenience for residents if their waste can be dealt with at the curb.”
She also suggested that a year-round residential diversion program similar to the Reuse It or “Loose” It event might meet residential needs better.
Despite the need for upgrades, Berry emphasized that the landfill operates very well and under the highest provincial standards. She said the commission has a master plan for the site and they are predicting over 40 years of landfill space left.
When the site finally does fill up, the commission will then be responsible for ensuring environmental compliance for 25 years beyond that point. This means that residents can expect the site to be around for at least another 70 years.
Rate structure plan ensures stability
To assist them with their master plan, Roseridge Waste Commission contracted the consulting firm of Conroy Ross Partners so that they could assess the exact cost of the services they provide.
Using the data rendered from that consultation, the commission developed a rate structure plan in order to provide municipalities with an accurate forecast of what their disposal rates would be for the next five to ten years.
For the past eight years, Morinville’s rates sat at $32 per tonne, some of the lowest in the province. Berry stressed that because general waste disposal should always be offered at a cost recovery, Morinville’s rates would have to increase by $4 per tonne.
According to Berry, “The rates will be more stable and predictable to help with long range financial planning. The Town will then have a higher level of confidence that the rates reflect the actual cost of providing the service.”
Responsible waste disposal and recycling is an ongoing project that requires active communication. Berry said that the role of the commission is going to have to include lots of dialogue between Roseridge and the Town. “I believe that the landfill is a valuable asset to our community and I think the more we can engage in conversations, the more we can ensure that our facility is meeting the needs of your residents.”