The garbage dump on Carp Road in Ottawa's west end is running out of space, and the company that runs the dump wants to expand, building a new landfill at its current location that would handle 400,000 tonnes of garbage per year.

Waste Management made the announcement this morning, taking municipal politicians and area residents by surprise.

"We've got about 18 months left of life in the landfill," said Ross Wallace, manager of Waste Management.

The landfill on Carp Road currently takes in about 200,000 tonnes of waste from the City of Ottawa each year, as well as garbage from smaller communities in the surrounding area, including Smiths Falls and Carleton Place.

The lack of space means much of the commercial waste generated by the City of Ottawa is now being trucked to New York State.

Diverting waste

The company is now pushing to cap and close the current dump on Carp Road and build a new landfill at the site. However, the plan will also focus on diverting waste.

"We really want to put into place the infrastructure, the tools if you will, to allow us to go after the commercial sector and divert as much material as we can away from the waste stream going into the landfill," Wallace told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday.

However, even with a focus on diversion, the company says a new dump is still needed.

"A small part of this proposal is a landfill," Wallace said.

"There is residuals that you cannot divert; you cannot take out of the waste streams. There is a need for landfill space not only in the City of Ottawa, but in the surrounding areas."

Company confident

The location of the dump became a hot election issue during the last municipal election. Residents in the area have also complained about the dump's location, which they say causes a stench in their west-end neighbourhood.

Wallace said despite past criticisms, he's confident the company's proposal will move forward.

"We think our project is a very good project and we're not anticipating a blockage," he said.

The plan marks the third time Waste Management has put forward a proposal to expand its operations.