Green Lane landfill
It operates a leachate collection system and an on-site leachate treatment plant. Green Lane also has an extensive landfill gas collection system. This gas is roughly 50 per cent methane and 50 per cent carbon dioxide, along with traces of other gases. Currently the gas is collected and directed to the flaring system that allows for release into the air.
History and politics
As the city's last remaining landfill site, Keele Valley, neared capacity during the 1990s, it was found that no other municipality in Southern Ontario was willing to accept the garbage, but there was also no political support for a change to incineration. A deal was eventually made to ship Toronto's garbage to the Adams Mine, an abandoned open pit mine in Northern Ontario, once the Keele Valley site closed. But objections grew into vociferous controversy as the time neared, and eventually the agreement was canceled.
Concerns with the border, and opposition from residents in Michigan prompted the need to look for alternate sites or expand the city's recycling programs. The Michigan contract survived a vote in February 2006 by the Michigan House of Representatives to ban out-of-state garbage from being shipped to the state from Ontario and other U.S. states, as it also required approval by the US federal government before it could be enforced by Michigan. In May 2006, the Michigan Carleton Farms garbage dump under contract with the city of Toronto announced it would not be accepting waste sludge as of August 1, 2006, but would continue to receive household waste.
In September 2006, Toronto City Council agreed to purchase the privately owned Green Lane landfill site near St. Thomas, Ontario. Councillors opposed to the agreement accused Mayor Miller of pushing through a secretive deal and there was also a strong reaction from residents and MPs from the London-St. Thomas area. Jane Pitfield who ran (and lost) against Mayor Miller in the November 2006 election advocated incineration as an alternative method of disposing of waste, a position opposed by many Toronto environmental groups but supported by others arguing that the technology has improved and incineration is now less polluting.
Even with 60% diversion through the green bin and recycling programs, residual waste from the Greater Toronto Area would amass 2,200 tonnes (2,425 tons) a day or 800,000 tonnes (882,000 tons) a year.
In April 2007, the city signed contracts with First Nations bands whose reserves were close to the proposed landfill, which would entitle the bands to $4.27 per tonne of garbage deposited at the landfill, or approximately $500,000 per year.
The contract to ship household garbage to Michigan ended in 2010, at which point use of the Green Lane landfill began.
Size and capacity
Total Site Area: 129.7 hectares (320 acres) – surrounded by largely rural agricultural land.
- Disposal Area: 71.2 hectares (176 acres) is presently approved for landfilling.
- Additional Lands: approximately 486 hectares (1,200 acres) - essentially 21 parcels of farmland.
- Available Site capacity: as of April 2, 2007, approximately 15 million cubic metres of waste/daily cover = approximately 13.8 million tonnes of non-hazardous solid waste.
Under the current Waste Management Strategy at the City of Toronto the Landfill's life expectancy is as follows:
- at 42% waste diversion = estimated 17 years
- at 50-55% = estimated 19 to 21 years
- at 70% = estimated 28 years
- Keele Valley Landfill in Vaughan, Ontario closed 2002 with some parts converted to other uses
- Brock Road Landfills - located near Pickering, Ontario and Ajax, Ontario and was landfill site for the City of Toronto's garbage from 1975 to late 1990s
- Beare Road Landfill - located in northeast Toronto and closed 1983 and now part of Rouge Park
- Carleton Farms Landfill - located in Michigan and took Toronto's garbage from 2002 to 2006