January 13, 2017
the 2017 Mid-cycle Budget Adjustments, I requested information related to Green
Cart benefits with particular interest in the true costs of landfills. The
Green Cart program will both protect the environment and avoid future landfill
costs as follows:
food and yard waste that is put in green carts will be turned into a high
quality compost to enrich the soil in gardens, community parks and local farms.
The new composting facility is advanced and can accept a much wider range of
materials than a backyard composter. It’s expected over 85 million kilograms of
material will be turned into compost each year.
our land, air and water resources
food and yard waste is compacted in the landfill there’s no oxygen so it
doesn’t turn into soil or anything good. In fact, it creates methane (a
powerful greenhouse gas) and leachate (a liquid that seeps through the landfill
picking up other contaminants). Expensive protective systems are in place to
capture methane and leachate to protect public health and our precious land,
air and water resources.
material out of landfills to avoid future landfill costs
we fill up our current landfills, finding new space will be a difficult and
expensive process. New landfill applications continue to be largely
unsuccessful because of increasingly stringent regulations combined with citizens
not wanting to reside by a landfill. There are now few, if any jurisdictions,
in North America that will accept waste from other jurisdictions, on any terms!
Even if the City did get regulatory approval for another landfill inside our
City limits (an unimaginably poor use of our land), it comes at significant
costs. The cost to buy land, make capital investments in protective systems,
set aside funds for long-term landfill liabilities, and operate the landfill
over 25 years are estimated at $1.5 billion. By composting, we can preserve the
valuable space left in our current landfills and avoid future costs.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.