Once one of the largest landfills in Canada the 240 acre Keele Valley Landfill (KVL) in Vaughan, ON was the final resting place for Toronto, York Region and Durham Region garbage. In 2002, after twenty years of operation, encroaching development and concerns about the 28 million tonnes of accumulated waste contaminating the area aquifer determined that the dump was “finally full.”
Half of Toronto’s garbage was diverted to Carleton Farms Landfill, Michigan, although the cost of trucking waste to Michigan, about $52 per tonne, was over three times the cost of processing waste at KVL. In 2006, Toronto started sending their garbage to Green Lane Landfill, near London, ON, but in an attempt to lower costs the Green Bin program rolled out across Toronto in 2002-2005. The Green Bin program resulted in 30% less landfill waste, and waste diversion increased by 42%.
200 acres of the KVL has been purchased by the City of Vaughan and is planned to become a $28,000,000 park. A water play facility, amphitheater, wedding garden, picnic areas and walkways will be included in the park. KVL is still waiting for redevelopment, but other initiatives occurred, including Eagle’s Nest Golf Course, and the addition of soccer fields, baseball diamonds and nearby big box stores. Most interesting is the KVL gas collection system, which not only reduces emissions and odours, but generates enough electricity to power 20,000 homes annually.
To learn more, check out the video and article by the Toronto Sun found here.