Jan. 22, 2019
by Colin Smith – photos courtesy Roseridge Landfill
As a landfill site, Roseridge performs a crucial waste management function for the communities it serves.
But it also plays another important role, one that is less well recognized, that of recycling depot.
Located east of Morinville on Range Road 251, Roseridge is a Class 2 facility, which permits it to take in non-industrial hazardous waste.
The site totals 480 acres, 340 owned and 140 acres leased from the federal government, and handles about 100,000 tonnes of waste each year.
Manager Gerard Duffy points out that in addition to the landfill, Rosebridge provides a number of other recycling and reuse options.
“We try to offer as many services as possible,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s about waste diversion first and foremost.”
The how-to of recycling will be a key message Duffy hopes to get across at the Roseridge Open House, which will take place May 18, along with providing information about a planned expansion of the landfill to take place over the next few years.
“What we want to talk about this year is knowledge for recycling, how we landfill and environmental responsibility,” he said. “An open house is a great way to talk about that.”
At the open house, engineers will be on site to take questions and there will be food, and fun for the kids.
The open house will be highlighting the Take It Or Leave It area. Originally set up as a pilot project, it enables people to come in and leave items, typically furniture or paint and aerosols, that others can then take away.
Morinville has also had a volunteer-run Reuse it or “Loose” it event twice a year for several years.
“We set up [the] program [at the landfill] to help residents get rid of gently used material and give it to people who may have a use for it,” said Duffy. “It’s about waste diversion first and foremost.”
He noted that they would take anything for Take It Or Leave It except power-operated devices, which are refused for liability reasons.
“People who’ve heard about it are using it on a regular basis,” Duffy said. “Now it’s a matter of getting the word out.”
Roseridge also recycles residential mattresses, Freon devices (refrigerators and freezers) and oil, and accepts residential fluorescent bulbs.
Roseridge also takes in gently used bicycles, not in need of a lot of repairs so they can be redistributed to families that may not be able to afford bikes. During the warmer seasons, they may have as many as 150 bikes on hand.
Another initiative that is in the works is increased clearance of refuse from municipal ditches. Duffy anticipates that to handle the larger workload, the Roseridge staff may go up from 11 year-round workers to 13, depending on municipal requirements pending requirements from municipalities under the board.
Recent policy changes in China, a major purchaser of recyclables, has meant that many recyclers are no longer accepting certain products.
“The change is hitting but doesn’t affect us yet,” Duffy said. “It all depends on who is doing the processing. We haven’t been asked by the processor to change our requirements.
“We’re trying to hold off until everything is completely solidified. Because every time you change the regulations, you lose some people.”
According to Duffy, the most important thing is that recyclables must contain absolutely no food waste.
“Even the amount in a pizza box can contaminate a whole load.”
For information on what is recyclable at Roseridge check out the website at www.rosebridge.ab.ca or call the office at 780-939-5678.
“The expansion of the landfill that is planned for the next few years will be the landfill’s fifth phase,” said Duffy.
He said all above-ground operations will be moved to Roseridge’s southwest quarter, including the entrance facilities, scale, recycle centre, metals and freon units and the Take It Or Leave it Centre.
Roseridge came into being in 1979 as the Sturgeon County Regional Landfill, then in 2004 came under the ownership of the Roseridge Waste Management Services Commission a partnership between six municipalities formed to provide the service for the entire region.
Representatives of the six municipalities, which are Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, Redwater, and Sturgeon County, sit on its board of directors. The current director from Morinville is Councillor Stephen Dafoe and from Sturgeon County is Susan Evans. Bon Accord Mayor Dave Hutton and Gibbons Mayor Dan Deck also are on the commission with Legal Councillor Pat Hills and Redwater Councillor Connie Butcher.
The commission is financially responsible for the operation of Roseridge, a cost of about $3 million annually that are covered on a user pay, pro-rated tonnage fee basis. Residential use permits are issued by municipalities, which establish the maximum amount of waste residents can dispose of annually.