The Landfill Facility in Steinbach recently completed Phase 2 of its expansion.
Eldon Wallman, head of the city’s solid waste department, says that in phase two they finished the infrastructure on the South end of the landfill.
“We probably added about 20 acres or so of property that we use to fill the landfill.”
They have one more phase left in this landfill site before they will have to abandon it.
He expects that the landfill will serve us for a total of 30+ years to come.
“This phase will take us about another 12 years or so to fill up,” he says. “And the last phase (Phase 3) will be about 25 years on top of that yet, so we have over 30 years here at this site before it has to be decommissioned.”
Wallman says Phase 2 was a major accomplishment.
“We've been waiting for that for a few years, and that's the last part of the existing footprint that we have before we finish the final phase about a dozen years from now.”
He says they are a Class 1 Regional Site, so the Landfill Facility takes garbage from quite a large area.
"We take all the way to the U.S. border and halfway to Ontario, so Steinbach is only 41 percent of the garbage that comes in here," he says. "The rest is from all over the place, so four municipalities, two provincial parks, and we're actually negotiating with taking garbage from the Northwest part of Minnesota to here."
They can take garbage from anywhere as long as it meets their standards.
He explains that the reason this area will last 12 years is because of their compactor.
"It's the most important piece of equipment we have. We can't do without it. It singlehandedly is what creates the longevity of the landfill. It squishes six ft. of garbage down to 1 ft. every day."
Wallman says that upgrades are always ongoing and there are always new things that they’re doing.
“We want to add an additional scale so we have a scale for in-and-out traffic. We always want to do upgrades. There's something we have to do every year,” he says. “I'll have to replace some of the older buildings in the next few years and that's on the plans as well, so it'll look a lot better in a few years from now.”
They are adding an additional compost depot this year as they received a government grant to do that.
"We're still negotiating exactly where that one is going to go, but the depots have become very popular and we wish we could do them more than just Saturdays, but it takes manpower to operate those.”
He notes they have great volunteer staff and local churches that take care of the depots.
“They've been really good to us and we hope to keep going with the third depot this year.”
Wallman says the residents of Steinbach are doing a great job.
“Steinbach residents have become very environmentally friendly, very conscious of what goes on. It's very different from what it was 15 years ago,” he says.
He says recycling and composting have become very popular, so they are now focusing on education regarding mulch.
“You don't even need to bring your grass to a depot, you can mulch at home, which I've been doing for years and it's catching on.”