Technology is leading the way to more efficiency at the Glenmore landfill in Kelowna.
For example, lowering the site’s carbon footprint.
“We expect in the next five to eight years heavy equipment will be able to be electrified more and more,” said Scott Hoekstra, manager of landfill and composting operations.
Hoekstra added they’ve been testing a compact electric loader and will purchase a similar piece of equipment soon. He noted their GPS system allows operators to monitor the deflection of waste as a compacter rolls over it, and measure how much more compaction is needed to fill up space in a given area.
“Almost 31 per cent of materials received at the landfill are not disposed of at the landfill,” explained Hoekstra. “So there is a pretty significant amount of waste diversion that goes on at the site, and quite proud to say that’s a growing number.”
Also, using technology currently utilized at a biosolids operation in Vernon, the Glenmore landfill will be able to produce compost in three to four months instead of the current 10 to 12. Hoekstra added a recently-purchased piece of equipment used to remove contamination from compost makes it clean enough for businesses such as Tolko and other companies to use as a biomass fuel.
“We’re actually sending it back out to market, and we’re doing a pilot program with the parks department to use it as a mulch in some of the parks.”
Initiatives include talks with the University of British Columbia Okanagan on research programs, and a building deconstruction pilot program. A city-owned property on KLO Road was deconstructed a few weeks ago in partnership with Unbuilders and Habitat for Humanity. Materials recovered included windows, brick, concrete, joists and framing, scrap metal, and drywall, on top of the mandatory recoverables under city bylaws.
“The preliminary numbers show we were able to recover approximately 70 per cent of the building,” said Hoekstra.