By Tim Kalinowski on December 22, 2020.
The City of Lethbridge will once again be offering commercial space at the landfill for contaminated soil from oilfield and other types of reclamation to generate additional revenue in 2021.
“Contaminated soil is soil that has been chemically impacted by operations like, for example, coming from a gas station that is being remediated or an oil or gas field,” explains City of Lethbridge Waste and Recycling general manager Joel Sanchez. “Any area that has contamination by chemicals.
“Back in 2015 we stopped accepting these types of soils at the Waste and Recycling Centre for landfilling since at that time we didn’t have any approved diversion strategy,” he adds. “We decided then we were not sure if we were going to have enough capacity in the landfill. Now after the implementation of the recycling program and the other diversion strategies we might have done, the landfill space has been preserved. And we do have capacity — we have an existing cell — to take this type of material.”
Sanchez says he expects the landfill to be able to take about 5,500 cubic metres of contaminated soil this year with an expected revenue generation of $300,000.
“This would add more revenue for the City,” he says.
“We are going to be taking that material again (from private industry) in a limited capacity.”
For this year, Sanchez says the City will likely be serving local customers mainly, but with a planned cell expansion in 2027 there might be an opportunity to accept these types of materials on a larger scale to help with oilfield reclamation work throughout the region.
“For 2021 we are giving priority to projects that are happening in city limits,” Sanchez confirms. “That way we can also benefit the local economy as well. We already have an approval to deal with this type of contaminated soil from Alberta Environment and Parks. This soil goes into a contaminated soil cell. That cell has a liner that prevents the chemicals from going through the dirt, and we collect all the leachate that is produced by rain or moisture on the ground. We collect that, and typically all the chemicals are evaporated over time. But everything is disposed within the landfill we have.”
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter