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Next phase coming in Vancouver Landfill closure in Delta

The closure has been gradually taking place over several phases
At the end of 2023, 37.8 percent of the total waste in place at the landfill was regional waste, with the remaining 62.2 percent originating from Vancouver and Delta. Delta Optimist file

It’s still more than a decade away, but the end is on the horizon for the Vancouver Landfill in Delta.

According to the 2023 annual report on the landfill’s operations, released by the City of Vancouver, which owns and operates the 72nd Avenue dump adjacent to Burns Bog, to date, a total of 126.8 hectares have been closed.

That represents 56 per cent of the 225 hectare landfill footprint. The remaining capacity, as of December 31, 2023, is 4,913,453 tonnes.

In 1999, Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and Delta entered into a long-term agreement whereby the operational life was extended to 2037.

Garbage would be permitted to be piled higher on the existing footprint and in 2037, the site is to be transferred to Delta.

Since 2009, the Western 40 Hectares as well as areas called Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 have progressively closed.

The annual report notes no closure work occurred in 2023, as planned. Last year, municipal solid waste filling and asbestos disposal mainly occurred in an area called Phase 5 South.

The operational plan, over the next 12 months, includes completion of filling in Phase 5 South in preparation for closure in 2025, moving the filling operation into Phase 5 North, adding litter fencing and expanding gas collection infrastructure in Phase 5.

The contract for design and construction supervision of the Phase 5 closure was awarded in March 2023. The construction contract is expected to be awarded in late 2024 with construction planned in 2025, once filling is complete.

The landfill is currently authorized to accept up to 750,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste for disposal each year. Materials used beneficially, such as for cover, road building and closure, are not counted towards that annual discharge limit.

The annual report notes that in 2023, 743,809 tonnes of waste were disposed at the landfill, a key component of the region’s solid waste management plan.

Meanwhile, the City of Delta is seeking to renegotiate its financial arrangement as host of the garbage dump.

Discussing how the landfill has more capacity due to settling, council recently agreed to provide formal notice to the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver of Delta’s intent to renegotiate the financial terms of the relevant agreements in consideration of allowing for continued landfilling to 2037.

The city will also engage technical and legal consultants as required to support Delta’s position in the landfill negotiations.

According to the city’s 2024 Financial Plan, anticipated revenues from landfill royalties is $3,730,000, the same amount received last year. Delta received $4,080,853 in landfill royalties in 2022, down from $4,137,168 in 2021.