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London's landfill will get higher - the only question is by how much

Date November 26, 2017 Author Lucy Robinson Categories News

Imagine nine storeys built atop London’s landfill.

As the clock ticks down on the life expectancy of the city’s dump, expected to hit its trash limit by 2025, plans for expansion are becoming clearer.

Three options are on the table, and all have one thing in common: building up.

The landfill on Manning Drive south of Highway 401 could grow anywhere between five and nine storeys, tall enough to take on 15 to 26 metres of new trash.

Expanding upwards just makes more sense than sprawling out from the current site, which would require a lot more space.

“It would chew up a whole bunch of additional land that we don’t think would be necessary. Going up is definitely recommended,” said Jay Stanford, the city’s environment and waste boss.

It also makes sense from a safety perspective.

“You’re building essentially on top of garbage. We know what is below and we already have the infrastructure in place to handle some of the leachate,” Stanford said.

The expanded landfill needs to have space for another 25 years of trash.

Londoners will have the chance to weigh in on the options at a series of public meetings this week:

*Build up by 26 metres.

*Build up 18 metres and out to the north by 27 hectares.

*Build up 15 metres and out to the west by 36 hectares.

All the land eyed for expansion is owned by the city.

The impact of growing higher will be studied as part of a “visual impact assessment,” Stanford said, along with a host of other studies to examine groundwater, traffic and ecosystems.

Feedback at the public meetings will help determine the plan for the environmental assessment that has to be done before London can expand the landfill. That process will take place over the next few years.

Coun. Harold Usher, whose south-end ward includes the landfill, said residents are coming around to the idea of a bigger facility.

Key concerns include smell and traffic. Stanford said he’s confident the city can mitigate any of those problems and make the changes work for nearby communities.

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