June 18, 2015

Bidding opportunity for slope stabilization at Oshawa landfill

The Region of Durham has a bidding opportunity open until June 30, 2015 on lands beside the Oshawa landfill at 1640 Ritson Road North. This open landfill is a licensed waste disposal sites for the disposal, recycling, composting, and reuse of residential household waste. Further information on this site and Durham Region's other waste management facilities can be found at: http://www.durham.ca/works.asp?nr=/departments/works/waste/wastedisposalsites.htm

Oshawa Landfill Site Slope Stability Program located at 1640 Ritson Road North in Oshawa

The Region of Durham is seeking qualified Contractors to provide slope stabilization within the area of Seep B, adjacent to the Oshawa Landfill Site. The proposed work program is being carried out the improve the slope stability of the lands adjacent to the stream bank. It will involve the diversion of the adjacent stream, to permit a gradual transition from the slope to the stream bank, and re-grading the existing slope.

Construction is expected to begin in August 2015, and should be completed within six (6) weeks."

Further information on the  can be found in the Invitation to Tender posting, https://www.durham.ca/biddingopportunities/SearchReadOnly.aspx or https://www.durham.ca/biddingopportunities/Attachment.aspx?id=47583&doc=Z&docType=pdf.

May 11, 2014

Development Services Committee meeting - May 5

The results of surface water quality testing at the landfill was raised at the May 5 Development Services Committee meeting. A report was received indicating that monitoring results are consistent with all monitoring data collected since 2008 and that there is no indication that there is any impact on the groundwater from the l.D.O.L. landfill. From the report it sounds like the water quality testing was conducted in Harmony Creek; I would have found it helpful if these results included a map of where the water was sampled.

From the meeting minutes (http://www.oshawa.ca/agendas/Development_Services/2014/05-05/2014-05-05-DSC-Minutes-08.pdf):

Results of Surface Water Quality Testing, Industrial Disposal Oshawa Landfill (l.D.0.L.) Rossland Road East and Grandview Street North Area

Recommendation   (CARRIED – See Page 4)

That the Development Services Committee recommend to City Council:
That Report DS-14-88 dated April 30, 2014 be received for information and staff continue to provide the Development Services Committee and Council with Ministry of the Environment correspondence and findings regarding the Industrial Disposal Oshawa Landfill site in the Grandview Street North and Rossland  Road East area.  

Highlights from the public report, dated April 30, 2014:  
The purpose of this report is to overview the results of 2013 Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) testing in Harmony Creek adjacent to the Industrial Disposal Oshawa Landfill (l.D.O.L.) site located in the Rossland Road East/Grandview Street North area.

The report is provided pursuant to previous requests by the Development Services Committee and Council to be kept aware of information received from M.O.E. in respect to the l.D.O.L. site.

Attachment 1 is an air photo showing the l.D.O.L. site and the surrounding area. 

A copy of the actual lab results from the M.O.E.'s testing are available in the Planning Services Branch in City Hall (Contact: Suzanne Elston).

- The l.D.O.L. site is a privately-owned closed landfill located east of the Grandview Street North/Rossland Road East intersection (see Attachment 1). 
- The Development Services Committee and Council have received a number of reports in this term of  Council in respect to the condition of the l.D.O.L. site and have requested to be kept informed of the results
on any M.O.E. testing or correspondence. 
- In this regard, on March 14, 2014 staff received the results of surface water sampling that M.O.E. conducted in (November 2013) in Harmony Creek adjacent to the l.D.O.L site. 
- M.O.E. advises, based on the results of its November 2013 testing, that:
     - The results are consistent with all monitoring data collected since 2008
     - There is no indication that there is any impact on the groundwater from the l.D.O.L. landfill
     - V.O.C. (Volatile Organic Compound) results are classified as
     - Levels of heavy metals (chloride, mercury, arsenic, et al) are classified as <=W (i.e. "No measurable response")
     - Levels of Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbon levels are classified as <=W (i.e. "No measurable response.") 
- M.O.E. has advised that it will provide the City with updates and reports on the l.D.O.L. site as they become available. 

The report is available: http://www.oshawa.ca/agendas/development_services/2014/05-05/DS-14-88-IDOL-Update.pdf

These monitoring results were mentioned in Oshawa Express' City in Brief on May 28:

All’s well at former landfill

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment says there is no “impact on the groundwater” at the former Industrial Disposal Oshawa Landfill (IDOL) site.

The levels of volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and poly aromatic hydrocarbon levels were found to be negligible by testing done by the ministry in November 2013.

Oshawa’s Development Services Committee received the update at its May 5 meeting.

The former landfill is located east of Grandview Street North and south of Corbett’s Road. A dog park lies to the northeast.

The site was a commercial sand and gravel pit before it was turned into a landfill in 1957. It was formally closed in 1985.

Article is available: http://69-27-97-91.blacksun.ca/viewposting.php?view=6479 

November 6, 2013

Article in Oshawa This Week - Sept 27/12

This landfill mining initiative does not relate to the IDOL landfill (it only applies to the sites under the Region of Durham jurisdiction), but is interesting news as it involves taking steps to repurpose landfills for recreational use in the Region.

Durham to start landfill mining by 2014
Goal is to convert garbage dumps into recreation spots

By Jillian Follert
September 27, 2012
Oshawa This Week

DURHAM -- Years from now, Durham's landfills could be playgrounds and soccer fields.

That's the vision Region of Durham staff is working towards as it advances plans to start "landfill mining." The concept sees material excavated from landfills and sorted into soil, recyclables, combustible materials and residual waste. Soil can then be remediated and the site refilled.

The plan comes at a time when many incineration opponents are questioning whether there will be enough garbage to feed the new Clarington energy-from-waste facility -- especially as Durham moves towards a target of 70-per cent waste diversion.

Mirka Januszkiewicz, the Region's director of waste management, says landfill mining will "close the loop" by turning landfills into usable community space and sending excavated waste to the incinerator.

In many communities, mining is done to create more space in jam-packed landfill sites, but Durham is pursuing the idea to repurpose the sites.

"The hope is that we can turn the landfills into recreation properties," Ms. Januszkiewicz says. "We are not doing this to create more space in the landfill, we are doing this to clean it up."

When the Region of Durham was established in 1974, seven municipal landfills came under its jurisdiction.
The plan is to start mining with the smallest one -- Cartwright landfill, located in Blackstock.

Regional council approved the idea in principle last year. 

The procurement process for a contractor is expected to start by fall 2013 with mining slated to begin by late 2014 or early 2015.

If the Cartwright site is a success, staff plans to continue with the Scott landfill in Uxbridge.

The Region is currently spending about $150,000 a year to maintain the seven landfills under its care, including water sampling and seepage repairs.

The cost of mining the Cartwright landfill is estimated at $390,000. 

Staff said the Region's larger landfills would likely be more expensive, but could also produce more recyclable metal which offsets the price tag.

November 4, 2013

Article in The Oshawa Express - Oct 8

All quiet at former landfill

By Geoff Zochodne/The Oshawa Express
October 8, 2013

Located in the northeastern part of Oshawa, sitting beside a City dog park, lays the site of a former industrial landfill.

A recent report to the City’s Development Services Committee provided an update on the ex-dump. In short, not much is going on at the old garbage pile, including any development or environmental damage.

A letter from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) triggered the report, more than two years after the City wrote the province for input.

The City brought in Golder Associates to test the landfill site in 2011 for risks to public health and safety. Their report found that “there is no evidence that the former IDOL Site is currently causing an ‘adverse effect’” under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act.

Golder recommended “additional monitoring, assessment, surveying and other work should be done at the site notwithstanding its opinion that no material adverse impacts are occurring at this time.” The cost to the City for the report was $1,500.

After City council received Golder’s findings, the City made a formal request to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for comments on the report and its recommendations.

That was in June 2011. The MOE responded midway through September of this year.

Phil Dunn, senior environmental officer for the York Durham District of the Ministry wrote a letter to the City apologizing for the delay and stating he was “in general agreement with the conclusions and recommendations.”

Dunn wrote, “The Ministry may consider an amendment to the Provisional Certificate of Approval that includes the monitoring and maintenance programs developed for the site.” He also advised the City he would be inspecting the landfill site and collecting surface water samples from Harmony Creek in “late September/early October.”

The Development Services Committee couldn’t help but notice the MOE’s slow response time.

“We’ve been monitoring this site for a number of years,” says Councillor Doug Sanders.  “I think the ministry needs to step up to the plate and monitor a little more.”

The MOE tested the site in 2011 and there were “no concerns,” says Development Services Commissioner Tom Hodgins. “The samples were reasonably positive. In the surface water we’ve never really had a significant reading to date.”

The Industrial Disposal Oshawa Landfill (IDOL) is located near the end of Rossland Road East near Grandview Street North, just south of the Harmony Valley Dog Park.

Golder’s report states the spot began its life as a commercial sand and gravel extraction pit. In 1957 it was converted into a landfill.

“Approximately 1,000,000 tonnes of industrial waste was landfilled in the Site between 1957 and 1980,” notes the report. It formally closed in 1985, and the MOE responded by issuing a certificate of approval to govern its future operations.

“It is again not fully clear as to what corporate entities may have contributed waste to the IDOL Site, although it is understood that General Motors of Canada utilized the Site for disposal of various waste materials generated in its Oshawa operations,” says Golder.

The site was sold in 1999, and again in 2003. Golder said there have been several other reports done on the landfill in the past, and in reviewing them they discovered some of the “landfill leachate” has begun to bleed through the southern slope of the site “in varying degrees” dating back to 1977 and beyond.

The landfill has recently been sold once more, says Hodgins. What the owners intend to do with the property is unknown.

“Right now we don’t have any actual development applications on the property,” he says.

The report on the landfill was received for information, with a reminder staff will continue to keep the Development Services Committee and council apprised of the situation and MOE correspondence.

Release of Back/Harmony/Farewell Creek Watershed Management Plan - January 2013; Development Services Committee meeting - Sept 30

In January 2013, the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority released the Black/Harmony/Farewell Creek Watershed Management Plan. This purpose of this plan is "to be the definitive tool used by CLOCA, municipalities, planning authorities, agencies and all other stakeholders to guide decisions regarding the effective management of watershed resources in response to a changing environment". This document can be found online at http://www.cloca.com/resources/Watershed_Man_Plans/Black_Harmony_Farwell_Watershed_Management_Plan_2011/BHF%20WSP%20V7_Final_Reduced.pdf.

The Industrial Disposal (Oshawa) Landfill was on the Agenda of the September 30th meeting of the City of Oshawa's Development Services Committee Meeting:

That the Development Services Committee recommend to City Council:
That Report DS-13-231 dated September 25, 2013 be received for information and staff continue to provide the Development Services Committee and Council with Ministry of Environment correspondence and findings regarding the IDOL site.

This 73-page report is available at http://www.oshawa.ca/agendas/development_services/2013/09-30/DS-13-231-IDOL.pdf. It contains previous reports and provides an update on the site. On September 30, 2013 City staff received an update from the Ministry of Environment (page 72-73) the owner and company name for the site have changed, and that the MOE will be inspecting the landfill and collecting surface water samples from Harmony Creek in late September/early October.

In the minutes from this meeting, this Recommendation was Carried by the following vote:
Moved by Councillor Pidwerbecki,
“That the Development Services Committee adopt the recommendation contained in Report DS-13-231.” CARRIED

Oshawa City Council met on October 15, 2013 and also Carried this recommendation:
Recommendation (CARRIED–See Page 376)

That Report DS-13-231 dated September 25, 2013 be received for information and staff continue to provide the Development Services Committee and Council with Ministry of Environment correspondence and findings regarding the Industrial Disposal Oshawa Landfill (IDOL) site.

April 24, 2012

Update from the City of Oshawa - Jan 11

On January 11, 2012 the Commissioner of Development Services at the City of Oshawa sent the Development Services Committee a public report title "Industrial Disposal Oshawa Limited (IDOL) Rossland Road East and Grandview Street North Area". This was raised at the Committee's meeting on January 16.

The report provides an update on the site, and can be found at http://www.oshawa.ca/agendas/Development_Services/2012/01-16/DS-12-09-IDOL-Update.pdf.

The report includes the most recent (November 2011) monitoring data from sampling by the Ministry of Environment. Based on the sampling and analysis, MOE staff concluded:
- The results for surface water quality in the creek (SW1-SW4) are consistent with previous samplings and do not indicate an impact to the creek.
- The seep sampling results appear to indicate a minor landfill influence - elevated concentrations of chloride and iron were detected in the samples.
- These parameters are non-health related and are typically used as indicators of possible landfill leachate impacts.

The report also mentions that the Ministry of Environment has advised the City that it is engaged in discussions with the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) regarding possible remedial measures that the site owner could take to reduce the size and visual impacts of certain areas of seepage and iron staining.

At the January 16 meeting, the Development Services Committee recommend to City Council:
1. That Report DS-12-09 dated January 11, 2012 titled ‘Industrial Disposal Oshawa Limited (IDOL), Rossland Road East and Grandview Street North Area’ be received for information; and,
2.That staff follow up with the Ministry of the Environment in respect to a response to Council’s June 13, 2011 direction/request.

(this request requested that the Ministry of the Environment advise the City in writing of its comments on the Golder report, the individual Golder recommendations for additional work and monitoring and whether the· MOE will amend the existing certificate of approval for the IDOL site to implement the recommendations or to otherwise require the owner of the IDOL site to implement the recommendations or monitor and maintain the site.)

June 9, 2011

Article in Oshawa This Week - June 9

Oshawa landfill poses no health risk: consultant

New report recommends beefed up monitoring for north Oshawa site

By Jillian Follert
Oshawa This Week
June 9, 2011

OSHAWA -- A new report says a controversial landfill in north Oshawa does not pose a public health threat.

The site has been a source of worry for neighbouring residents and local environmentalists after it started leaking a smelly, rust-coloured liquid in 2008.

Last year council hired a consulting firm to investigate the decommissioned landfill -- located near Harmony Road North and Grandview Street -- and offer an opinion on whether it poses a risk.

"We associate unpleasant visual and smells with something that is likely to be harmful," said Tom Mclelwain, who spoke to council members on behalf of Golder Associates. "But in reality there is no demonstrated adverse effect."

The reddish liquid that periodically stains the ground and creates a film on top of puddles and creek water is iron staining, he said.

Council's development services committee was brought up to speed on the status of the landfill at a special meeting Tuesday morning.

The landfill, bounded by Harmony Valley Park on one side and a large residential subdivision on the other, was formerly owned by Industrial Disposal Oshawa Limited and operated from 1957 to 1980, when it was sealed.

When it was up and running, the 35-acre site accepted solid commercial and industrial waste, primarily from General Motors.

Mr. Mclelwain told council members there is "no documented record" of what went into the landfill over the years, but evidence suggests much of it was paper and other "normal" municipal type waste.

However, he also said potentially dangerous materials -- such as paints and solvents -- may have been dumped in 45-gallon drums.

Depending on when they were disposed of, the consultant said those drums may already have rusted and leaked their contents, or could potentially do so down the road.

"I'm really concerned, people are walking in that area, they're walking their dogs and their dogs are maybe drinking out of the creek," said Councillor Doug Sanders. "We don't know what's in there. It could be a cesspool and we don't know."

Ministry of the Environment officials have tested ground and surface water samples and have done visual inspections of the site and reported no troubling results.

Golder Associates also did its own testing and came up with the same findings.

"It's perfectly consistent with the type of leachate quality that you see at other landfill sites," Mr. Mclelwain said.

Councillor John Aker, who chairs the development services committee, said he is satisfied there is no threat.

"We have to depend on these expert organizations and what they have said," he noted. "It's in the hands of the Ministry of the Environment if they want to do anything more."

After the landfill was closed in the 1980s, the MOE issued a certificate of approval but did not require the owner to do any future monitoring or maintenance.

In contrast, any landfill closed today would have ongoing monitoring, inspections, site security and annual reports.

Because of the concerns raised over the site, Mr. Mclelwain said ministry officials now visit at least once a year and have convinced the owner to do some patching and repairs to prevent leachate from seeping out.

But the consultants say more should be done and list a series of recommendations in the new report.

They include installing a series of groundwater monitoring wells, using backhoe excavation to expose and assess the cover protecting the waste to determine whether it is sustainable and doing an elevation survey to create a topographic map of the site.

Golder Associates also recommends annual monitoring program and report and says the MOE should do an engineering evaluation of the existing leachate collection system.

The committee voted to send a copy of the consultant's report to the MOE and ask officials there to provide comment on the recommendations and clarify whether further monitoring and maintenance will be ordered.

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