City is setting up 72 ways to avoid filling up the landfill

The city of Ottawa proposes a wide range of ways to limit waste – from banning some materials from waste collection to charging residents per. bag – in an attempt to prevent the Trail Road landfill from running out of space.

Staff have analyzed how much space the landfill has left behind and have determined that it has reached 70 percent of its capacity.

This means that if Ottawa continues to produce waste, as it does now, the site will be full in 15 to 17 years.

As things stand, however, projections show that by 2052, Ottawa and its growing population could generate 37 percent more waste per year – or 487,000 tons annually – than it does now.

The city on Thursday released a 465-page document listing 72 options for how to deal with Ottawa’s waste over the next 30 years, while reducing and recycling as much as possible.

The options include:

  • To ban some materials from the landfill, such as renovation and construction waste.
  • To ban organic waste containers from waste.
  • Limiting the number of bins at the edge.
  • Implementation of a “pay as you throw” system that would see fees charged based on what is set at the curb.
  • Closure of waste chute in multi-residential buildings.
  • Separation of mattresses and furniture for better recycling.
  • Establishment of lending libraries and neighborhood depots for reusable items.
  • Develop a strategy to reduce food waste.
  • Purchase of existing landfill.
  • Development of a new landfill.

Finding a new place for a landfill, staff said, would take 12 to 15 years alone.

“We know no one wants to have a conversation about a new landfill. That’s the last thing we want to consider,” Coun said. Scott Moffatt, chairman of the city committee responsible for waste.

“But to keep it at the bottom of the list, we may need to consider some of these other things that may not be as tasty.”

If Ottawa continues to produce waste, as it does now, the Trail Road landfill will be full within 15 to 17 years, the city says. (Google Streetview)

Asked what could be the most aggressive option for residents, Moffatt pointed to banning organic products from going in the trash.

Last year, only 58 percent of households disposed of their organic waste in the green bin.

In this second step in creating a new master plan for solid waste, the city of Ottawa wants to set a vision of creating “zero waste,” according to the document. It plans to study the long list of options, come up with “aggressive” and “moderate” avenues, and present business cases for next spring.

The city is developing its 30-year plan at a time when the regulatory landscape is changing. The provincial government is set to hand over responsibility for blue boxes to waste producers and allow more items to be recycled, while the federal government has promised to ban disposable plastic and complete a list of banned items by the end of the year.

This latest waste management report goes to the city’s standing committee on environmental protection, water and waste management on 29 June.

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