The City of Moose Jaw held a couple of open houses yesterday at the Moose Jaw Events Centre to share information about the proposed Solid Waste Management facility. 

The proposed facility, which would replace the current landfill that will reach its end of life in the next four to five years, would be located about two kilometres directly north of Moose Jaw, and west of Highway 2 on two quarter sections of land. 

The come-and-go session allowed residents to view key parts of the facility as well as ask questions from the City of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment and consultants from GHD and Associated Engineering. 

The proposed facility would be more up-to-date compared to the current landfill and would look a lot different. 

“The site itself, the plan is for a very modern waste management facility,” said solid waste engineer Mark Parker with GHD Engineering. 

“We’re not talking about a dump. We’re talking about a highly engineered facility where we have liner systems, leachate is managed, stormwater is managed appropriately and there’s also opportunities for waste diversion and recycling on-site as well.” 

When choosing the site, the city and its consultants had criteria that needed to be met including: 

  • Within approximately two kilometres of city limits. 
  • Minimum size required of two quarter sections or 320 acres. 
  • Good accessibility from a provincial highway. 

It must also also follow the following provincial setbacks: 

  • 500 metres from residential development, farmsteads, schools, food preparation/consumption, church and community facilities. 
  • 300 metres from surface water. 
  • 100 metres from roadways, cemeteries, railways and water pipelines. 
  • 450 metres from waterwells. 
  • 30 metres from transmission lines and pipelines. 
  • Eight kilometres from the Moose Jaw Municipal Airport for a bird hazard buffer area. 
  • That it avoids the 15 Wing Bird Hazard Area 
  • Avoids natural and cultural heritage areas. 
  • Compatible with future land use 
  • Compatible with soil and geology capabilities. 

According to the city, it limited the sites to the south, southeast, east, and northeast due to the restrictions around the airport and 15 Wing and the northwest was less preferred due to prevailing winds from the west-northwest. 

“We used a bunch of technical criteria and also criteria from the city in order to pick a site that would be suitable for a modern landfill,” said Parker. 

constraints mapThe above map shows some of the constraints the city has when finding a site for the proposed Solid Waste Management Facility. (Graphic courtesy: City of Moose Jaw)

Since announcing the proposed site, there have been many who have voiced their opposition. 

Parker talked about some of the concerns that he heard during the open house. 

“The ones that are coming to me mostly are concerns about water and how water is managed and that’s really landfill engineering and that’s what we live and breathe, to make sure we’re managing water properly to not contaminate surrounding land,” he said. 

Leonard Daniel is a resident of Moose Jaw who attended the open house. He came to see what the proposed facility was all about and he had some concerns. 

“Concerns I have are how come it was done in-camera? How come it wasn’t made public? And, just general concerns that most taxpayers have. Why is it located so close to the city on the best farmland in the world? I’ve seen something quite interesting. They said they’re going to cover it daily with fresh dirt. Where are they going to haul the dirt from,” said Daniel. 

The next step for the city is to seek approval for discretionary use from the RM of Moose Jaw.  

You can find more information about the proposed Solid Waste Management Facility on the City of Moose Jaw’s website