City landfill to take asbestos with conditions

Weyburn council passed a change to the city’s bylaw in order to allow the disposal of asbestos and other “special waste” at the city’s landfill under certain conditions, at Monday night’s council meeting.

The bylaw was first brought to council last November, and since then, administration surveyed other Saskatchewan cities for what their policies and tipping rates were before it was brought back for approval.

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The City’s landfill will take “special waste” products, which includes contaminated soil, animal carcasses and other types of special waste in addition to asbestos, but will require a special waste disposal permit, with 48 hours prior notice for the delivery of asbestos.

The disposal rate for asbestos will be $410 per load, plus $110 per tonne, to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and the fee per tonne will increase to $120 on Jan. 1, 2022.

Some of the conditions for disposing of asbestos include that it must be secured and handled according to regulations, and unloading can only take place with a landfill operator present, with no loose asbestos or broken bags allowed. Also, if windy conditions exist, the operator may refuse to take delivery of the asbestos.

“We have the right to control what comes in. I think that’s very important,” said Coun. Winston Bailey. “We discussed this very thoroughly. We have the capacity to take this waste under very controlled circumstances.”

He added the city wants to be careful not to be taking asbestos from other larger landfills, such as from Saskatoon and Regina, and noted the landfill operator has the discretion to refuse delivery.

Mayor Marcel Roy pointed out that the city doesn’t want asbestos mixed in with other materials either.

City manager Mathew Warren agreed, and noted this is partly why they are instituting an application form, so they know in advance what a company or contractor is bringing in.

“The public should be made aware that we’re accepting asbestos as we see fit, and that operators are liable for that material if they bring asbestos in and didn’t make our operator aware of it ahead of time,” said Coun. Mel Van Betuw.

Warren noted the city’s landfill is regulated by the provincial government as to how they are to handle materials like asbestos.

Asked if the city should have fines in place if asbestos is brought in undeclared, Warren said he recommends not doing that.

“We have to really focus on educating the public on the permit process,” he said.

Coun. Van Betuw pointed out that if someone did mix in asbestos in a load, they would then be liable for the cleanup of that waste.