This winter's record snowfall put the brakes on the relocation of about 40,000 cubic meters of soap stock at the Altona/Rhineland landfill. The gel-like substance can only be moved when it is frozen.
"We had a good cold winter, so we could have gotten a lot moved, but the contractor we have hired for that job is also a huge snow-clearer in town and they didn't have staff to make it out (to the landfill) this year," explained Clint Derksen, public works manager for the Town of Altona.
Fortunately, added Derksen, crews were able to work ahead in the four-year schedule last winter, moving about 6,000 tonnes.
"I would say there's probably ten-ish (tonnes) left, so we're still on track. I actually hope to finish it next year," he noted, explaining that this would leave the fourth year of the effort open to doing any clean-up that needs to be taken care of.
Meantime, the decommissioning strategy appears to be successful.
Beginning in Winter 2021, a pilot project implemented at the site three years earlier was put fully into action. The plan calls for the industrial waste to be transferred from two small cells into the actual landfill site.
"In 2017, we did a big landfill expansion and we dug a new cell. The cell that we were using in 2016, we excavated a big hole and we're dumping the soap stock into there," explained Derksen. "It's inside our keyway, and everybody's happy with it. It's not showing any detrimental effects to the cell at all so, it seems to be a really good spot for it."
Read more: Deal Reached For Soap Stock Clean Up At Altona/Rhineland Landfill