The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has allocated its budget for landfills, and Golden has made the list for funding requirements.
A total of $185,000 has been designated to the Golden landfill to cover the installation of two ground water monitoring wells, slope work and cover work, and $70,000 is slated for a hazardous waste collection facility in Golden.
Neighbouring resident Andrea Weissenberg wants to see ground water monitoring wells installed, a move she says should have been done long ago.
Her property faces onto the landfill, and year after year she is left to clean up garbage that blows over onto her property, or is brought there by birds. She can see areas in the landfill where leachate has reached the surface, which can pose health problems.
Leachate is water that has moved through the ground and extracts solids to the surface, which can bring harmful substances to the surface, and enter the environment.
“The critical part is the well. That’s number one from my perspective,” Weissenberg said. “I know other people that live in Canyon Ridge, their issue is the odour… We’ve been noticing these really strong sewer gas smells.”
The CSRD held a meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the upgrades that will go into the landfill in Golden.
“If there’s a wish from the general public to look at an alternative site, it wouldn’t be high on our option list, but I want to give residents a chance at this public meeting to provide feedback,” said CSRD team leader and environmental health services officer Ben Van Nostrand, adding that there are options to have a transfer station and send waste away to nearby communities.
Along with Weissenberg’s environmental concerns under the landfill, she says more needs to be done above ground as well. Last year, she had to remove 200 garbage bags of litter from her property that had spilled over from the landfill site.
“That’s totally not acceptable. The guidelines say litter on the landfill site needs to be cleaned up. The litter off the landfill site shouldn’t even happen,” Weissenberg said.
She suggests that one of the ways to minimize litter heading to the landfill could be to provide easier access to recycling.
“Maybe it is better to be proactive,” she said. “If people have better access to it, they will do it.”
There used to be a buffer zone between Weissenberg’s property and the landfill site. She said there were trees in between the properties, but they had died and were removed. Many trees blew down in the high winds.
“There is really no buffer zone, and there should be,” she said.
Golden is next in line for upgrades, Van Nostrand said. Hazardous waste facilities were installed in Revelstoke and Salmon Arm in the past few years, and Golden is slated to have one built this year. In the past, there have only been “roundups” every two years, where residents can bring things like oil, antifreeze, paint, and other household hazardous waste materials.
The landfill will receive $65,000 for the installation of two ground water monitoring wells, $50,000 is budgeted for slope work and cover work, which is extracting cover material from the area and improving the slopes that are in place. It also includes general site upkeep and maintenance.