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Vehicles drop off clean fill to the compost pile at the Township of Champlain landfill on Saturday, October 10. Photo by Reid Masson

From garbage to recycling to firefighting, Township of Champlain landfill is a multi-use facility

From garbage disposal, to recycling to fire training, the Township of Champlain’s municipal landfill can be described as a multi-use facility.

“We have a very frequently used landfill, but it is specifically for our municipality – we are very lucky that we have that,” says James McMahon, Director of Public Works for the Township of Champlain.

The landfill, located at 1897 Cassburn Road, accepts only dry materials, along with electronics, metal and tires for recycling. Domestic garbage picked up from households, including food and other waste is taken to Lafleche Environmental in Moose Creek.

“We have a dry landfill – we don’t accept any household garbage,” McMahon notes. “What is accepted in a dry landfill are things like knick-knacks from your house – say a flower pot was broken – and stuff like that. We do our big garbage collection in the spring and you see that type of stuff at the side of the road.”

The Champlain landfill is open each Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon beginning in May until November 7. Residents of Champlain are able to drop off items at that time with a fee based on the size of the vehicle and load. Compostable material and most recyclables can be dropped off for free.

Staff at the landfill check each load that comes in to ensure all of the items are allowed at the site. Metal, electronics, tires and other reusable materials are separated into separate locations and are later sent to appropriate recycling facilities. The process is designed to ensure only clean fill goes into the landfill itself.

“Everything that comes in, each load is documented by the dump attendant so we keep track of what’s going on and then we send the log to the Ministry of Environment when we do our final inspection at year’s end,” McMahon explains, noting proof of residence is required and names and addresses are logged. “We try our best to keep the footprint clean, because it is important and we want to continue that service for the residents.”

The landfill site also serves as a location for residents of Champlain to drop off metal, electronics and used tires for recycling. Metal and electronics and be dropped off for free. Each household is also allowed to bring four tires with no rims per year free of charge. The collected items are picked up in the fall to be taken to a certified recycling facility.

As recently documented in The Review, the landfill is also the site for the L’Orignal Fire Department training facility, which has three steel containers for various forms of training. One of those is set up as an apartment and items from the landfill – such as couches and tables – are used in those fire simulations. Car fire training and rescues are also practiced by local firefighters at the landfill.

One of the more visible sights at the Champlain Landfill is the huge pile of compostable material. Each Saturday – particularly in the spring and fall – sees large numbers of vehicles dropping off grass clippings, leaves and branches.

That pile will grow exponentially when the Township of Champlain has its 2020 Fall Collection on the week of November 9. Curbside pickup of compostable material (leaves, branches, grass and cedar clippings) will occur throughout Champlain during the week. Further information on the Fall Collection can be found here.

In addition to its composting, the township hopes to expand its recycling capability for leaves, grass and branches.

“We are hoping eventually to be able to actually mulch it and then provide members of the community with mulch.”

Vehicle fires and extractions are practiced by the L’Orignal Fire Department at the Champlain landfill. Photo by Reid Masson
All visitors to the landfill must register at the entrance. Photo by Reid Masson
Items such as metal, electronics and tires brought to the Champlain landfill are organized into separate piles and later sent for recycling. Photo by Reid Masson

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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