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Unusually High Rainfall Impacting Gas Collection System Changeover
(Wednesday, June 28/06)-- Recent above normal rainfall is causing some delay in the switch over from the temporary to the permanent gas management system at the Otter Lake landfill. Water is infiltrating the gas collection pipe system, resulting in some interruptions to the flaring of landfill gases and intermittently causing odour in the surrounding area, Jim Bauld, Manager Solid Waste Resources, said today.
Area residents are advised this is a temporary condition caused by an unusually high amount of rainfall, but experts and crews are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible.
"During the construction phase of the project, the switching from the temporary to the permanent gas management system requires a brief disconnection of the gas collection system and temporary shut down of the blowers and flares which burn the landfill gases. The burning of landfill gases has the double benefit of eliminating odours, as well as ensuring that harmful CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas, which is a major contributor to climate change, is released in reduced quantity into the atmosphere, “ said Mr. Bauld.
The gas collection changeover is part of a $4.2 million capital improvement program at the Otter Lake facility. The project consists of the closure /capping of the lower half of landfill cell # 3. Included in the closure is the installation of a permanent geomembrane cap, made of material which will prevent precipitation from infiltrating into the waste and will provide a barrier for the release of landfill gas.
Capital improvements also include replacement of the temporary surface gas collection system, with permanent subsurface gas collection system, 24-hour collection wells, an additional gas blower and larger flare for the burning of landfill gases. All improvements have been approved by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour.
The improvements began in April and are scheduled to be completed by the fall. The installation of the permanent gas management system and the geomembrane liner is scheduled to be completed in the next week to 10 days.
A major source of landfill gas is paper hidden in garbage bags which, once placed in a cell, decomposes giving off gases. Although the HRM has achieved 56% diversion through composting and recycling , waste audits have revealed that more than 50% of what remains in the refuse from residential and commercial properties is recyclable paper and compostable organics.
Residents of HRM are reminded to take the "10% Challenge" and recycle and compost more at home, work and time of leisure.
Manager, Solid Waste Resources