Cornwall dump closure will be $38M liability; organics program floated to extend life

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A food and organic waste collection program is among a dozen recommendations to not only save life on Cornwall’s landfill but plan for its closure in the next 12 to 14 years.

Based on a consultant’s report to be presented to city council tonight (Monday), the landfill on Cornwall Centre Road will be closed in 2032. There is also 50 years of so-called “post closure care.”

The report estimates the liability for the city to close the dump in 2032 will be nearly $38 million.

The provincial government has mandated that all municipalities plan and stockpile money to cover a future closure.

To that end, there are recommendations to set up three reserve accounts to have money for capital work for the trash and recycling programs over the next 12 years but also for the landfill’s inevitable closure.

Here’s the money proposed to be collected:

  • $270,000 in 2020 and $420,000 from 2021 to 2029 for waste disposal capital works
  • $87,833 in 2020 and $100,000 every year through 2029 for waste diversion capital works
  • $250,000 in 2020 and increases of $250,000 per year to a maximum of $2.5 million per year until $37.8 million is collected by 2032 (or after until target is met)

An organics program is also in the recommendations, which would extend the life of the landfill to 2034. The cost to set up the program in 2025 is estimated to be $800,000 but would save nearly $6 million in landfill space.

The only way the yearly costs could be lowered is if the city applies to the provincial government and receives approval to extend the life of the existing site another 15 years (from 2033 to 2048).

These costs don’t include finding a new landfill site or a have garbage and recycling handled by a private landfill.

Trash and recycling services in the city already cost taxpayers $2.7 million a year (2019).

The report says recycling costs are projected to increase 3-4 per cent through 2044 while trash costs are projected to be 0.7 per cent through 2030, then two per cent after closure.

Council is expected to receive the report and recommendations and ask questions of the engineer who authored the report.