The do’s and don’ts of the Haliburton landfill
By Olivia Robinson
Published May 15, 2018
For those with spring cleaning on their mind, many Haliburton residents look to the landfill as a means to minimize junk and clutter – like furniture, stockpiles of oil and paint cans and expired tins of food – but the Haliburton landfill is warning its customers to pay careful attention when bringing items to the landfill, as improperly sorted items could contaminate an entire load.
Mark Brohm, landfill manager with the Municipality of Dysart et al, said that the landfill’s protocol dictates that customers would be stopped at the gate to allow time to properly sort the items before disposing of them.
Commonly mis-sorted items destined for the landfill include construction loads littered with metal, cardboard and other items that could otherwise be recycled.
Brohm said one of the landfill’s major concerns has to do with recycling and its most prevalent contaminated items.
“It happens when somebody has cleaned out their refrigerator – bottles of half-full salad dressing – they’re just not cleaned, you know?”
Brohm said that the recyclable glass jars and plastic containers don’t have to be in pristine condition when they are brought in, but at the very least need to be emptied of their contents. Otherwise, the item is marked as contaminated and gets tossed into the landfill.
Other culprits include plastic planters – with potted plants still inside – destined for recycling, and buckets of paint that should be disposed through the hazardous waste day.
“We go out and pull out as much as we can, it does take some more time,” he said. “It costs extra operating time to correct that problem.”
Brohm said the current regulations for the landfill itself have been in place for nearly 25 years, so it always surprises him when people ignore these rules.
“I just think that they can certainly do a lot better – some people really don’t care,” said Brohm. “When they drive through these gates the main thought in their mind is that they aren’t leaving with what they brought in – they are going to leave it one way or another.”
Throughout the colder season, Brohm said between 200 to 300 people bring their waste to the landfill per day, but that this number practically doubles during the summer months.
Generally, cottage-goers are adept at adhering to the landfill rules because larger cities, like Toronto, tend to already have strict rules about garbage and recycling, Brohm said. He noted that the most common mistake cottagers make is assuming that Haliburton is also on a one-bag system – meaning plastic and paper can be recycled together – but in the Municipality of Dysart et al, these items must be separated.
“It’s just a small group who aren’t trying at all – only about 10 per cent. Most people are pretty good.”
The Haliburton landfill is configured in such a way where residents must pass by the recycling station before dumping their garbage, a strategic move Brohm said helps to make residents aware of what they are throwing away.
Brohm urged residents to call 705-457-9318 if they have questions about waste destined for the landfill, or go to www.dysartetal.ca/portfolio-view/landfill for more information.
The Haliburton landfill is running on its summer schedule until Sept. 30, open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday and Holiday Mondays open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.