Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/11/2010 (3980 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It's a trash repository covering an area bigger than Linden Woods.
And though it's far from the heart of the city, the Brady Road Landfill is central to a planned overhaul on how Winnipeg deals with its trash.
The city is gearing up for a public trash expo Nov. 13 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre that will let Winnipeggers weigh in on a waste management strategy, set to go before council roughly a year from now.
"Part of the plan is looking at Brady, what it should become," said city solid waste manager Darryl Drohomerski, on a recent tour of the sprawling site.
The expo, which includes roundtable discussions and presentations on composting and recycling, will kick off six months of consultation on the waste plan. It's aimed in part at boosting Winnipeg's rate of trash diversion through recycling or organic waste collection, currently one of Canada's lowest at 17 per cent. Participants can register by calling 311 or visiting speakupwinnipeg.com.
Earlier this year, the city endured a firestorm of criticism over the way it replaced garbage cans with rolling carts at homes in northwestern Winnipeg. In the wake of that, officials promised to develop a comprehensive waste strategy.
Some changes are already in the works at Brady Road, which opened in 1973 and handles roughly 450,000 tonnes of trash annually, split between municipal and commercial streams.
Work on a long-planned project to tap and collect the methane gas produced by all that trash will soon get underway, with drilling set to start over the next six weeks. The greenhouse gas can be used to generate electricity, or as a natural gas substitute in heating. The contractor has been chosen, said Drohomerski, and a 90-day due diligence phase recently got underway.
Dealing with the thousands of seagulls that swarm the dump has been an ongoing concern for landfill staff, so much so that the city is looking to hire a professional falconer, and has already given the idea a trial run.
By taking out a gull or two and staying airborne, the falcons should, over time, convince the scavengers to find meals elsewhere, said Drohomerski.
The idea is based on a similar project that's been successful in British Columbia, said Jeff Hawley, the landfill's supervisor of disposal.
Roughly 100 hectares of the 890-hectare landfill area are currently active, and not all for buried garbage. There's a dedicated area for the roughly 4,000 bicycles salvaged annually, which volunteers refurbishe for inner-city youth.
On a recent visit, massive mounds of yard waste sat in various states of decomposition in one area. The finished mulch of composted leaves and partially disintegrated plastic bags will be spread over clay-capped, 'finished' landfill areas to prevent erosion and encourage plant growth.
What to do with organic waste will be up for discussion Nov. 13, but the city is already preparing for a different kind of composting trial next spring -- not for food waste, but for the sludge that is a byproduct of waste-water treatment.