Toronto will have to scramble to find a new landfill or other disposal facility to receive the 160,000 tonnes of sewage sludge it generates annually. Currently, 13 to 15 trucks per day haul the sludge to the Republic Waste’s Carleton Farms landfill in Michigan, but the landfill has notified Toronto that it will cease taking the sludge on August 1. The company is seeking to expand the landfill, and wishes to stop taking in sludge, odors from which have upset local residents and triggered opposition. By no longer accepting sewage sludge, the landfill hopes to improve relations with its neighbors and get approval for its proposed expansion.
While the city’s public works committee chair says she’s optimistic a disposal site can be found, others are not so sure. Most other municipalities have limited landfill space as it is, and would not likely welcome such material, which in some instances their landfills might not be equipped to handle. Toronto used to burn its sludge at its multi-hearth incinerator located at the Ashbridge’s Bay Sewage Treatment Facility but that incinerator was mothballed years ago and local opposition will likely prevent its reopening and delay the construction of a new one, even if it uses new and better technology.