Costs of Landfill Decommissioning
Whereas the Government of Saskatchewan is working to reduce the number of small waste disposal sites and move to larger, regional landfills; and
Whereas 300 to 400 of these small waste disposal sites are in communities of less than 500 people, who cannot afford the $300,000 to $500,000 cost of decommissioning; and
Whereas the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment is pressuring small communities to apply for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to facilitate decommissioning of their waste disposal sites. With cost estimates for the final stages of decommissioning coming in at $250,000 to $350,000 the 25% the small communities need to supply is still $75,000 plus. The Canada Community Building Fund cannot be used for this portion; and
Whereas while the majority of these landfills have small environmental footprints, having received less garbage than large communities will receive in a week’s time, the Ministry of the Environment is expecting the same standards upheld for all landfills; and
Whereas the cost of complying with the environmental requirements in the short timespan given by the province, 2-4 years after completing the engineering report, will bankrupt otherwise viable, small communities.
Therefore be it resolved that SUMA advocate the Government of Saskatchewan to provide 25 year, interest free loans to small communities to facilitate compliance with the existing guidelines for landfill closure.
ACTS AFFECTED: None
REGION/SECTOR AFFECTED: All
Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association Unit 305 - 4741 Parliament Avenue
REGINA SK S4W 0T9
June 14, 2022
Dear Randy Goulden:
Thank you for your letter regarding the resolutions passed at the 2022 Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) annual convention. I am pleased to offer the following responses:
2022-014. Costs of Landfill Decommissioning
Environmental impacts from a landfill are not typically caused by the amount of garbage it receives. They are generally caused by site conditions, as well as the design, construction and operation of the site. Historical landfills have the potential to be environmentally impacted sites because many were not appropriately constructed to address local site conditions. Applying an appropriate landfill cover is important at closure to reduce the generation of leachate from precipitation going through the waste. The ministry allows for alternative solutions for the closure of landfills to be site-specific. For example, using less clay or an alternative to clay where the risk to receptors is lower or a clay source is not readily available.
The ministry has encouraged stakeholders to apply for landfill closure funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Our government supports ICIP funding by allocating $50 million to assist in the closure of historical landfills. The ministry works with stakeholders on timelines to close landfills to allow for the completion of the work. If more time is needed, stakeholders can request an extension.
Currently, no loans are available for the closure of landfills
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your resolutions and look forward to working with SUMA to achieve our common goals.
Dana Skoropad, Minister of Environment
cc: Honourable Jeremy Cockrill, Minister of Highways
Honourable Jim Reiter, Minister of Energy and Resources
Mark Mcloughlin, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment