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Ottawa's landfill set to reach capacity between 2036 and 2038


The city of Ottawa is looking at several options to encourage residents to recycle and divert waste from the landfill, including a pay-as-you-throw plan, as the Trail Road landfill is expected to run out of space in the next 15 years.

If Ottawa residents don't increase recycling and green bin use, the city would look to build a new landfill or expand the existing dump.

City staff said on Thursday that the municipal landfill on Trail Road had 30 per cent remaining capacity at the end of 2019.

"If current landfill practices and annual tonnages continue, Trail Waste Facility expected to reach capacity between 2036 and 2038," said the report. In 2005, the Ministry of Environment approved an expansion of the Trail Road waste facility.

Staff outlined several "high-level" options to help extend the life of the dump and manage Ottawa's waste.  The options include:

  • Pay-as-you-throw system for garbage bags
  • Set-out limit enforcement
  • Material bans for waste
  • Mandatory green bins in multi-residential buildings
  • Mandatory waste diversion in city facilities
  • Waste diversion in parks and other public spaces

One option the city wants to avoid is planning for a new landfill or looking to expand the Trail Road landfill.

Overall, the city of Ottawa anticipates it will need to manage 487,600 tonnes of waste a year by 2052, a 37 per cent increase from the waste generated in 2020.  By 2052, the city anticipates 265,500 tonnes of garbage, 35 per cent more than in 2020.  Green bin, blue bin and black bin waste are also expected to rise by approximately 40 per cent over the next 30 years.

City staff will seek input from the public before any final decisions are made on the new solid waste plan. Council will consider the final Solid Waste Master Plan and five-year implementation plan in 2023. Top Stories

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