I recently started working for Halton Region Waste Management Services as a Waste Management Program Coordinator.
While in the past I have worked in the waste management industry, my office has always been removed from frontline activities. Most other Greater Toronto Area municipalities don’t own or operate landfills within their borders, so I was excited to learn my new office would be located in the thick of the action at the Halton Waste Management Site (the landfill).
You can imagine the reactions of my friends and family when I told them about my new job and that I was working out of the landfill’s administration building.
So here’s a list of the questions asked of me by friends and family.
Do you really work at a dump?
No, I don’t work at a dump. I work at the Halton Waste Management Site, which yes, has a landfill, but that also has many other waste diversion facilities available for residents like the Household Hazardous Waste Depot, Salvation Army Reuse Depot, and Container Station for dropping off recyclable materials. Also, it is incorrect to call a landfill a dump. Landfills are specially engineered and designed to minimize environmental impacts – Halton’s landfill has an engineered liner system to protect soil and groundwater. Dumps tend to be areas where garbage has been discarded with less planning and environmental safeguards. Did you know the Halton Waste Management Site uses a bird of prey to keep gulls away from the garbage?
Does it smell?
No. Even with the recent extremely hot days there has been no odour. However, there was a slight earthy smell from the yard waste composting pad which is a lot more pleasant than you would think.
What’s it like with all that garbage around?
The Halton Waste Management Site is actually landscaped quite nicely. There is lots of green space and naturalized areas. Scouts Canada also does a lot of tree planting on site. In fact, this past April, Burlington Scouts planted 250 trees.
What types of things do you find in the garbage?
While I work at the landfill, I’m not involved in the daily operations of the landfill. I can tell you that waste audits show some residents place some acceptable Blue Box materials and GreenCart organics in the garbage when they could be recycled or composted instead. If you aren’t sure where an item should go, read your Waste Management Guide and Collection Calendar, or use our Put Waste In Its Place tool.
My first month with Halton Region has been great! I’ve seen first hand how passionate Halton residents are about the 3Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle. I’m excited to be working at a municipality that is so dedicated to working with residents, offering efficient and effective waste diversion programs.