Spend a Day at the Vancouver Landfill – for Fun, June 6

Garbage-is-compacted-at-the-225-hectre-Vancouver-LandfillEver wonder where your garbage goes? Now’s your chance to find out.

The City of Vancouver is hosting a full day of fun-filled activities and excitement … at the city landfill.

Billed as a family-friendly event, “dump day” offers a chance to go behind the scenes at the city’s biggest landfill, June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Located at 5400 72nd Street in the suburb of Delta and opened back in 1966, the Vancouver Landfill is currently responsible for “the management of municipal solid waste from commercial and residential sources” from Metro Vancouver’s Western municipalities.

A host of activities are planned for the landfill’s big open house. The facility uses special bird-control hawks and falcons to curb the population of gulls and crows at the dump. (Due to the landfill’s proximity to Boundary Bay Airport, unchecked flocks represent a serious flying hazard.) Handlers will show off the predatory birds and take them through their paces in an aerial show.

IMG_1651Guests can also take part in a scenic jaunt through the landfill. Thirty-minute guided bus tours will show off the dump’s unique structural and environmental features.  Dozens of wells are used to collect methane gas from the waste, which is in turn burned or used off-site to generate electricity and heat greenhouses. Meanwhile, a “double-ditch” containment system ensures that “leachate” (i.e. garbage water) is safely contained and pumped to the nearly Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment plant for processing.

Kids will have plenty to keep them busy, as well. According to the announcement: “Kids will love creating crafts from junk, sitting on actual landfill equipment, face painting, free food and refreshments and much more!”

Here are some more fun facts about the dump, gathered from the 2014 Vancouver Landfill Annual Report:

  • In 2014, 371,160 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) were managed in addition to 132,721 tonnes of demolition waste.

  • 2,172,860 m3 of leachate and surface water were collected and conveyed for treatment at the Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Plant at cost of over $2.6 million.

  • 58,728,137 m3 of landfill gas were collected and destroyed.

  • 22,005 m3 of yard trimmings was composted at the Landfill Composting Facility. In turn, 17,454 m3 of compost was sold and donated.

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