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Turbo | Quebec’s largest landfill wants to expand

The largest landfill in Quebec wants to extend its activities for 30 years and thus receive 44.5 million cubic meters of additional waste, which is enough to fill the Olympic Stadium in Montreal 24 times.

The expansion project for the Lachenaie Engineered Landfill (LET), in Terrebonne, was submitted to the Environmental Assessment Register of Quebec on March 7, confirming the intentions already expressed in the past by its owner, the Canadian subsidiary of US multinational Waste Connections.

This landfill is the only one on the Community of Montreal Metropolitan (CMM) lands, and authorized capacity should be reached in 2027, and the company now, previously mentioned, expects 2029.1.

Waste Connections wants to “bury waste there for another 30 years, that is, until 2057,” at the current rate of 1.5 million cubic meters per year, the document filed with the registry says.

In recent years, the company has acquired the land needed for expansion; It estimates that it needs “a period of at least 48 months” to achieve this.

A project from the nineties.

Such an expansion would be counterproductive, believes the general manager of the Quebec Environmental Waste Management Front, Karel Mignard.

“I find it pathetic, it’s a project from the ’90s,” he says, when the huge landfills came into being.

These sites receive so much waste that they can “beat the competition” and offer prices that make landfilling much more attractive than any other solution, Menard laments.

Our exclusion methods are incompatible with management methods aimed at reduction.

Karel Menard, general manager of the Quebec Environmental Waste Management Front

He points out that it is inconsistent that municipalities should plan waste management, but that their burial is entrusted to private companies who “do everything to get as many bins as possible.”

The government is “hostage” to the oligopoly of companies in the sector “that dictate the agenda of Quebec’s judiciary,” Karel Menard accuses.

“There are five locations in Quebec that manage more than 75% of the litter boxes, and they are owned by three companies,” he notes.

Karel Ménard advocates the creation of small landfills, to receive waste from the surrounding environment, in order to “raise the awareness of the generators”.

Still need to bury

Waste Connections argues that the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) indicated in its report on ‘final waste’ management, in January 2022, that new disposal sites or expansions of existing ones would be necessary. 20 years.

Karel Menard replies: “Obviously we’re going to have to get new permits, we’re not going to be zero waste tomorrow morning, but [Waste Connections] Feeding the problem of excessive production of waste. »

The BAPE report also noted that Quebec should prioritize reduction at source and stop relying on recycling to reduce the amount of waste it generates.2.

We have a landfill problem because the necessary efforts are not being made upstream.

Joseph Zayed, head of the Papi investigation committee

Noise, greenhouse gases and leaching

The expansion of the Lachini site will lead to various impacts during the development phase, including the emission of dust, exhaust gases, noise, traffic and the loss of natural environments, the company notes that the nearest residences are located 750 meters from the site. It is a component of the Enviro Connections complex which also includes a biomethane plant, sorting center and composting centre.

The process will result in biogas odors and emissions, including methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG).

Phased implementation of an active biogas capture system [permettra] To reduce these impacts on the environment in a very important way”, emphasizes Waste Connections, which makes Karel Ménard jump.

“If there’s biogas coming out of the cells, it’s an admission of failure, it means we’ve buried organic matter that shouldn’t have been there,” he says.

A large release of methane has also been detected by satellites3in November, at the Lachenaie site, which Waste Connections attributed to the maintenance operation.

The new landfill will be equipped with a leachate collection system, which will pass through a pre-treatment plant already on site before it is pumped to the municipal wastewater treatment plant in Muscoch-Trebonne.

The project can be subject to review by BAPE, indicated Journalism Office of the Minister of the Environment, Combating Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, Benoit Charette.

“Requests for the expansion of landfill sites show that it is necessary to reduce the use of landfills as much as possible,” which the Legault government addressed by modernizing deposit and collection. The matter, as announced by the Minister’s press attache, Melina Gilbert.

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  • 2.61 km⁠2
    Planned expansion area of ​​the Lachini engineered landfill

    Source: Enviro Connections Complex

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