Claystone Lateral Expansion Project
Claystone Waste is conducting a technical investigation into six quarter sections of land currently owned by the company to determine its suitability for landfilling and potential compost operations. This page provides information about the proposed Lateral Expansion Project including project timelines, consultation and feedback opportunities, and answers to key questions relevant to the public and community stakeholders.
This page will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Sign up for our newsletter here to receive updates on the proposed expansion project.
What is happening?
- November 2021:
Adjacent Landowners/Lessee Notifications
- March 2022:
Drilling Investigations & Disclosure Plan
- June 2022:
- October 2022:
Detailed Technical Investigation
- April 2023:
- June 2023:
- June to August 2023:
EPA review and Approval
What is Claystone’s Consultation Process?
Claystone will be holding an Open House on Wednesday, March 29th from 11 am – 4 pm at the Claystone Administrative Building to share information and engage residents on the Lateral Expansion Project. Information will also be provided on future composting and clean technology initiatives at the Open House.
A feedback form is provided below following Frequently Asked Questions to provide your feedback. Feedback can also be submitted directly to Claystone at email@example.com.
Your Questions Answered
We have answered key questions about the proposed expansion here.
Why is a landfill expansion being proposed? Is it necessary?
As waste needs in our community continue to grow, an expansion of the site is necessary to continue providing waste management services to our region.
Landfill expansions are not uncommon. As old landfill cells are closed and remediated, new lands are developed for operations and follow the same lifecycle. In this case, the proposed lands for the expansion are already owned by Claystone and have been planned for potential development for some time pending environmental and geological assessment.
Why is Claystone proposing this site for expansion?
The proposed site for expansion was selected because it is located adjacent to our current landfill operation, is on land currently owned by Claystone, and has existing data to demonstrate its suitability for a landfill.
Investigations of the site have found excellent geology for a landfill as the site has highly impervious clay soils, is separated from any public or private aquifers and sources of water, and is located close to a highway to minimize traffic impacts.
What types of waste will be accepted at the site if expansion moves forward?
Claystone is currently licensed as a Sanitary Class II Landfill and accepts municipal solid waste from Edmonton and surrounding municipalities in the region, as well as class 2, non-hazardous industrial wastes, and certain contaminated soils.
The proposed project would continue under this classification meaning no hazardous wastes would be accepted. A full breakdown of the types of waste we can accept can be found here.
Does the proposed project mean there will be more waste coming to the site?
No, the expansion is not intended to increase annual tonnage of wastes coming to the site. The expansion is necessary for continued operations and existing waste obligations as older landfill cells are closed and reclaimed.
Will the project impact traffic in the area?
Since the expansion is not intended to increase the annual tonnage of wastes coming to the site, there is not anticipated to be any changes in traffic volumes. In addition, the landfill is accessible from Highway 14 and is expected to operate during the same hours as the current site resulting in minimal traffic impact.
How will Claystone manage nuisance issues like litter, birds and gulls, and other concerns common with landfills?
Living near a landfill has some drawbacks for residents who live close by. Claystone is committed to being a responsive partner and good neighbour and we take our responsibility to reduce negative impacts on neighbouring residents seriously. Below are answers detailing how Claystone mitigates nuisance issues common to landfills.
Birds: Claystone Waste already has experience managing birds at our current site. We work with a falconry contractor permitted by the Canadian Wildlife Service to control migratory birds like seagulls. With respect to the proposed site, we have conducted an assessment of the wildlife risks, the results of which are indicated to be low. We will also continue to evaluate possible management strategies if the conditions change.
Litter control: Litter management is carried out in the following ways on our site.
- There are several layers of litter control fencing. The perimeter fence is a permanent fence. Semi-permanent fences are located at strategic points on closed portions of the landfill where high winds often blow litter. Moveable wind fences are available for placement as wind blockers.
- The collection of litter is done by landfill staff to ensure the site is litter-free.
- When waste moves outside the landfill boundaries onto adjacent properties, Claystone makes all attempts to collect the waste with the authorization of property owners or tenants.
- Off-site litter blown onto neighbouring, adjacent public roads and drainage ditches from a wind event is removed by Claystone following a wind event.
- Off-site litter blown onto neighbouring adjacent properties from a wind event is removed by property owner-authorized contractors at Claystone’s cost, or by Claystone as soon as practicable after the wind event. Claystone will not and does not enter private property unless authorized by the property owner.
Odour control: Claystone employs various tactics to deal with odours depending on the type of organics. Active municipal solid waste is covered in the summer months, while odorous waste is covered immediately. Our best practices ensure that we can mitigate odours and respect our neighbours.
Dust control: Dust management is a key operational function on the Claystone site. In dry weather conditions, internal landfill access roads are watered to suppress dust as needed. During construction projects, contractors are responsible for dust control in their working areas of the site, with compliance monitoring done by Claystone.
Potential for compost operations have been mentioned. Can you provide more information?
Claystone’s existing operating approval from Alberta Environment and Protected Areas permits the operation of a composting facility on our site provided it accepts no more than 20,000 tonnes of organics per year. This approval would be extended to the proposed expansion area.
How will groundwater be protected under the proposed project?
Groundwater is an important resource in the Beaver region. Claystone employs the best technologies and adheres to the strongest guidelines to ensure we are responsible stewards of the land.
In addition to constructing the landfill to prevent the release of contaminants into the surrounding area, we have selected a site with natural characteristics to help safeguard the environment.
Based on the investigations of the expansion project and the operating site’s historical investigations, we know that the proposed site is located further from groundwater sources than required by regulation. The site also contains natural clay soils that prevent the movement of water due to the “tightness,” also known as hydraulic conductivity, of the clay and its impervious nature.
In addition, the engineering design for the proposed site will exceed the requirements outlined in the Standards and Guidelines for Landfills in Alberta.
Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed around the perimeter of the landfill and an extensive monitoring plan will be in place to protect the environment. Claystone retains third-party engineering firms to monitor the water quality and works with Alberta Environment and Protected Areas regularly to ensure our site is meeting regulatory standards.
Will there be any impact on surface water or creeks nearby the site?
No, there is not any anticipated impact on the surface water. The proposed project would be designed to protect all aspects of the environment surrounding the facility.
Precipitation at the facility will be directed into on-site retention ponds which are designed to let sediments settle and filter out. Surface water collected in retention ponds is released on our site only when water quality testing exceeds Alberta Environment and Protected Areas criteria.
Modern landfill liners are also constructed to prevent the contact of leachate with groundwater (leachate is water that has had contact with wastes). In the event that leachate forms, it is collected by a leachate collection system, removed from the landfill, and treated.
There are no fish-bearing water bodies within the project area. Wetlands and drainage patterns for the project area have further been mapped, catalogued, and evaluated in the field.
Is there any impact on agricultural land from the proposed expansion?
The proposed lands for the expansion are already owned by Claystone and have been planned for potential development for some time. Currently, Claystone leases the lands to community partners for low-impact agriculture. If developed, some of the leased lands for agriculture will be impacted however Claystone will continue to lease excess sections of the property to community partners for farming activities.
How will the community benefit from the proposed expansion project?
As a municipally controlled corporation, Claystone is inextricably linked with the communities that surround us. We are committed to improving the quality of life of these communities through various community benefit programs that are unmatched in the waste management industry.
Over the past year, Claystone Waste has provided direct and indirect financial benefits to the Beaver region community totaling over $4.9 million. This figure includes:
- $3 million in dividend payments to Claystone’s municipal shareholders. This dividend represents an approximately $300 per person benefit to every resident of the Beaver region to help keep property taxes low and fund local priorities.
- $1 million in subsidized waste collection services for residents in the Beaver region to keep utility bills low.
- $500,000 in community grants support including a Good Neighbour Grant to the Village of Ryley and Beaver County. The Claystone Community Grant program provides welcome financial support to local community groups including Family and Community Support Services, the Royal Canadian Legion, the Holden Seniors Club, Viking Agriculture Society, Tofield, and Area Health Service Foundation among many others each year.
- $400,000 in annual property taxes to support municipal operations and public services.
With the proposed project, the local community can expect to benefit from increased employment and economic activity. It will also enable Claystone to continue to provide community investment in the region.