by Colin Smith
Major changes at the Roseridge Regional Landfill have taken a step forward with a rezoning approval by Sturgeon County Council.
Council voted on June 30 to allow rezoning from agricultural to direct control district of 80 acres in the southern quarter section of the landfill site, located east of Morinville on Range Road 251.
With the change to a similar designation as the rest of the site, this portion will become the focus of reconfiguration and expansion of the landfill over the next few years.
According to Roseridge Manager Susan Berry, the plan is for all the existing facilities near the entrance, including the scale house, to be relocated to the south and a new entrance and user access to be constructed.
Berry said the change is necessary because the area is designated for an additional landfill cell. Landfill cells are the specific areas in which solid waste is deposited. The newly rezoned land was bought by the Roseridge Waste Management Services Commission in 2015 with that in mind.
Along with this, the Commission is looking at modernizing the Roseridge facilities, including the recycling and take-it-or–leave-it programs.
Berry said public consultation comes next, although it’s not clear exactly what form that will take because of the COVID-19 situation.
“We’re hoping to start construction in 2021,” Berry said. “With the new facilities potentially opening in 2022.”
Roseridge opened in 1980 as the Sturgeon County Regional Landfill, then in 2004 came under the ownership of the Roseridge Waste Management Services Commission, a partnership between six municipalities formed to provide the service for the entire region.
Representatives of the six municipalities, which are Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, Redwater, and Sturgeon County, sit on its board of directors.
“As Roseridge is a partnership of the six municipalities in Sturgeon County, our residents are key stakeholders in what we do,” stated Morinville representative Councillor Stephen Dafoe, current Commission Chair. “So we want to make sure they see and understand our vision and have the opportunity to provide input through that process.”
Dafoe noted that the population of the region was considerably lower when Roseridge was created many years ago. Taking that into account, the Commission’s goal is to make the regional landfill even more efficient.
“We have an overall vision approved, have our request for expansion approved by the County, and will now move on with consultations. Those consultations will move us forward to decision making and determining the scale of work and the timeline for that.”
He said funding for the project would depend on the specifics and timing of the work to be done but ultimately would use a combination of reserves and debentures.
“Ultimately, that will come down to what makes the best sense for the Commission member and the municipalities and residents we serve.”
Added Dafoe, “The Commission and management have done a lot of work over the past year in terms of strategic planning, completely redoing our Commission bylaw, and reviewing our rate models to ensure that we are generating the right revenues for the various services we offer.”
“All of that work will in small and large part play a role in our expansion specifically as well as moving Roseridge further in serving the region in general.”