Keele Valley Landfill

The Keele Valley Landfill was the largest landfill in Canada and the third largest in North America during its operation. It was the primary landfill site for the City of Toronto and the regional municipalities of York and Durham from 1983 until 2002, and was owned and operated by the City of Toronto. It was located at the intersection of Keele Street and McNaughton Road in Maple, a community in the northeastern part of the City of Vaughan in Ontario.

In 1985, the initial portion of a landfill gas collection system was installed to reduce emissions and associated odours emanating into the nearby community. This has been used to generate electricity, which it has continued to do since the landfill's closing, sufficient to power 20,000 homes.

The facility is registered in the National Pollutant Release Inventory, with site identification number 7371. The site emitted about 410 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases in 2011.

In 2002, the site was identified by the Government of Ontario as an Area of High Aquifer Vulnerability, which would prohibit waste disposal and organic soil conditioning facilities being built or operating there per the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan. Vaughan's Official Plan Amendment 604 (OPA 604) specified that the site would be redeveloped as an open public space.

The site was originally a large gravel pit which was purchased by the city of Toronto in the 1970s for C$38 million. Before its opening, Toronto's trash was sent to the Beare Road Landfill in Scarborough, and Vaughan's trash was sent to a site about 1 kilometre north of Keele Valley, north of Teston Road. When it opened, the Keele Valley Landfill was within an almost entirely rural setting, but the rapid growth of Maple in the 1990s surrounded the site with residential developments. The site opened on 28 November 1983 based on an agreement between Metropolitan Toronto and York Region, under which Toronto was required to dispose of York's waste until 2003 in exchange for establishing the Keele Valley site. The site accepted garbage from the area of Toronto west of Yonge Street, whereas garbage from areas east of Yonge Street was sent to the Brock Road Landfills. The York municipalities of King and Georgina continued to dispose of their waste in local landfill for some time, whereas the others paid dumping fees to the city of Toronto for use of the Keele Valley Landfill. The site was originally scheduled to close in 1993, at which time it was expected to reach its capacity of 20 million tonnes. It overlays a sand aquifer, using a single engineered landfill liner to prevent leachate from entering the aquifer below.

An on-site Household Hazardous Waste depot collected paint, batteries, pesticides, cleaning agents and other hazardous waste in small (residential) quantities. A general recycling depot, to which residents and businesses could bring appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, etc.), corrugated cardboard, drywall, scrap metal and tires for recycling operated at the site, as did a tire recycling depot. The facility also had a yard waste drop-off area, from which the operators would transport material for composting in large outdoor windrows on a site north of the landfill, at the Avondale Composting Site. It also accepted waste brought by residents of households in York Region, but building contractors abused the privilege by bringing numerous small loads to the landfill, prompting the imposition of a tipping fee in 1990 for pickup trucks and small trailers. Commercial haulers were charged $18 per tonne in 1988, and $97 per tonne in 1990.

This page was last edited on 8 March 2018, at 17:59.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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