Lloydminster’s landfill will be staying the course with its new permit. City council has voted to retain the landfill’s status as a municipal landfill, and forego the option of becoming an industrial landfill.
With the expiry of the city’s landfill permit, the choice to become an industrial landfill was on the table. Retaining the current status of the landfill is expected to give it’s longest life expectancy, estimated to the year 2060. Benefits counted by the city also include less uncertainty due to changing regulations and lower risks from market uncertainty. Councillor Aaron Buckingham says that becoming an industrial landfill comes with its own benefits and even more uncertainties.
“It comes with (a) bigger cash flow, it comes with higher costs, it comes with higher liabilities, and it comes with knocking about eleven years off the average use, or lifespan, of our current landfill,” says Buckingham.
The move to retain the landfill’s permit status comes with new regulations; municipal landfills cannot take more than 20 per cent contaminated soil or industrial waste combined with other disposed waste. Buckingham doesn’t bet that figure is negotiable with the province of Saskatchewan, however, he doesn’t see the purpose in the city competing with the private sector.
“That’s not the city’s perspective, it shouldn’t be. I don’t want to be in the business of taking away potential business from a private investor,” says Buckingham.
In Saskatchewan, only industrial landfills are required to have financial assurance. However, the City will need to establish a dedicated reserve fund to cover related costs regardless of the landfill’s classification.