WINCHESTER – The North Dundas landfill site located at Boyne Road is slowly coming to an end.

The site is slated for expansion and before that can happen an environmental survey has to be completed.

Golder and Associates were brought on board to do the environmental assessment and at the last North Dundas council meeting on Nov. 23, presented an update about the project and a request to increase the budget for the assessment.

Director of waste management, Doug Froats is looking forward to the landfill approval.

He said, “In the initial budget, everything was drawn out about what Golder was going to do. The Ministry of the Environment changed our direction. And with change in direction, there were quite a few things that were not in our budget.”

Part of the presentation featured a request by Golder and Associates to increase the budget for the assessment. Since the study has began in 2016, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, (MECP), the provincial body that is responsible for the rules and regulations regarding landfill sites, had issued changes to their rules, and consequently to the kinds of things that had to be included in an assessment.

One example was the new need to do a traffic study at an extra cost of around $37,000. Rather than ask North Dundas for more funds each time a change had to be made, Golder and Associates decided they would wait until they were near the end of the project and lump all new costs together.

The final last look at all the approvals is planned for May 2022. Once that has been done, the expansion can get underway.

The saga about the landfill site begins back in 2014. The MECP determined that the landfill site had exceeded its capacity.

The municipality looked at the site in 2015 and decided that an expansion of the area was the preferred option, and the municipality already had the land necessary to expand the site.

To increase the size of the site and create more capacity, an environmental assessment had to be made.

Before any assessments could be done the Terms of Reference, (TOR), for the project had to be determined.

In 2018 and then again in 2019, a draft of the TOR was drawn up and sent for approval to all interested parties.

Just before Golder and Associates started to work on the agreed upon TOR, the ministry decided that the TOR did not meet their requirements. Consequently, the project was delayed until 2020, when the MEPC finally gave the green light to the TOR.

The update at the council meeting included a report that stated: “As a result of the on-going changes from the MECP and requests for additional and different information than originally scoped in 2016, Golder has recently requested a budget increase.”

As the project goes forward, a propped open house has been planned for January 2022, followed by the proposed draft of the environmental assessment going off to be looked at by the MECP in February. The special timeline now is that after all has been said and done, the MECP can take up to a year to approve the assessment.