Landfill Operations

Waste Management Site Overview

Arial view of the Waterloo landfill site

When the Region of Waterloo was formed in 1973, it became responsible for waste disposal, and in the late 1980's to 2000, the Region assumed responsibility for all waste management for the seven local area municipalities.

The Region of Waterloo has one operating landfill. It is the Waterloo Waste Management site located at 925 Erb St. West, Waterloo. Based on recommendations from extensive public input sessions in the early 1980s, the Region of Waterloo's landfill strategy focuses on utilizing our existing landfill to avoid the need to establish new sites. As the Region's only active landfill, the Waterloo Waste Management Site has been expanded and upgraded to fulfil this responsibility. Operations focus on ensuring environmental responsibility and continuing to reduce the amount of waste that reaches the landfill.

Read the 2011 Waste Management Master Plan for more information.

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Residential waste drop-off locations

Small Vehicle Transfer Station drop-off locations

  • The locations below are for use by Waterloo Region residents to dispose of recyclables and garbage generated within the Region. 
  • Tipping fees will apply.
  • Loads exceeding 200 kilograms must be taken to either Cambridge or Waterloo sites.
  • Yard waste can only be dropped off at the Ayr, Elmira, Waterloo and Cambridge transfer stations.
  • All small vehicle transfer stations are closed on statutory and designated holidays.
  • Starting May 24, 2014, all four rural transfer stations will operate on a rotating schedule of every second Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., until the end of March, 2015.

Ayr Waste Transfer Station

Reidsville Road and Greenfield Road, North Dumfries

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Alternating Saturdays

See schedule for details.

Crosshill Waste Transfer Station

Manser Road and William Hastings Line, Wellesley Township

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Alternating Saturdays

See schedule for details.

Elmira Waste Transfer Station

End of Howard Avenue, Elmira, Woolwich Township

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Alternating Saturdays

See schedule for details.

Wilmot Waste Transfer Station 

1788 Huron Rd., Queen & Huron Rd. Wilmot Township

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Alternating Saturdays

See schedule for details.

Cambridge Waste Transfer Station - Residential
201 Savage Dr., Cambridge, N1T 1S6

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday to Saturday

Waterloo Waste Transfer Station- Residential

925 Erb Street West (Residential drop-off - Gate 2), Waterloo N2Z 3Z4

(Commercial drop-off - Gate 1, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday to Saturday


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Residential fees

Fees at Cambridge and Waterloo Waste Transfer Stations 
  • A minimum of $2.00 wll be charged on each load weighing up to 50 kilograms.
  • Loads over 50 kilograms will be charged by weight, based on the rates listed below.
  • Payment options: Cash only for all transactions below $10.00. On transactions above $10.00, cash, debit and credit are accepted.
  • All small vehicle transfer stations are closed on statutory and designated holidays.


Charge per tonne

General refuse/garbage

$7.40 / 100 kg

Surcharge loads: (Waterloo site only) (stumps, wire, styrofoam, asbestos, etc.)

$14.80 / 100 kg

Tires (max. 20", rims removed)

$10.00 / 100 kg


$7.40 / 100 kg

Segregated loads

  • All regular Blue Box materials
  • Organics (leaves, yard waste, brush, grass clippings, green bin waste, etc.)
  • Inerts (clean fill, bricks, concrete rubble,etc.)
  • Appliances and scrap metal (refrigerators, stoves, freezers, etc.)

$3.70 / 100 kg

CFC removal fee

$10 first unit
$25 each additional unit

NOTE: Restrictions on surcharge and other loads apply at the Cambridge site.

Fees at Rural Waste Transfer Stations
(North Dumfries, Wellesley, and Woolwich)

  • Loads exceeding 200 kilograms must be taken to either Cambridge or Waterloo residential sites.
  • Fees are calculated on a piece-rate basis "General Items" include bags, garbage cans, bundles, blue boxes, yard waste bags, and boxes.
  • Cash transactions only. 
  • All small vehicle transfer stations are closed on statutory and designated holidays.



General items

First three items
($2.00minimumfeeeffective April 2, 2013)

For each additional three items

For seven or more items, vehicle rates apply




Additional $2.00

Vehicle rates

Shingles, rubble, dry wall, etc. are limited to 1/4 the vehicle  volumes.


1/2 full: $10.00

Full $15.00

CFC removal fee

$10 first unit
$25 each additional unit

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Regional landfill by-laws and bans

Collection and disposal of waste within Waterloo Region is restricted by the conditions cited under the following by-laws and bans passed by Regional Council.

Tires, corrugated cardboard, wooden pallets and electronic waste were banned from Regional landfills by Regional Council in 1988, 1990, 2002, and 2004 respectively.

By-Law 02-011
By-Law to Prohibit & Regulate the Collection of Waste
Passed January 30, 2002

By-Law 98-87
A By-Law to Regulate the Receiving, Dumping & Disposing of Waste
Passed December 17, 1987

Disposal of Waste Tire Ban
Effective September 1, 1988

Old Corrugated Cardboard Landfill Ban
Effective April 1, 1991

Curbside Garbage Collection of Grass Ban
Effective March 31, 2003

Landfill and Curbside Waste Collection of Electronic Waste Ban
Effective June 6, 2005

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Waste Management Approvals

The Region of Waterloo's Waste Management Centre (WMC) in Waterloo operates under an approval issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. This approval covers activities, such as: 

  • landfill site
  • recycling centre
  • public drop off area (transfer station)
  • yard waste compost area
  • organic (green bin) waste transfer area
  • household hazardous waste drop-off

From time to time, our original approval has been reviewed and updated to reflect changing operations. Refer to the table below to access a copy of our approval and related amendments.



Certificate of Approval No. A140301January 5, 1994
Amendment for Horizontal Drilling TrialAugust 11, 2004
Amendment for Air Monitoring ProgramMarch 23, 2009
Amendment for Post-Construction Summary SE1 / 3September 29, 2009
Amendment for MRC Upgrades and Organic Transfer AreaJanuary 11, 2010
Amendment for Landfill Base Design Features September 28, 2011

The WMC has additional Ministry of the Environment approvals for activities related to our storm water ponds and air (landfill gas flare and Recycling Centre exhaust). Contact Linda Churchill for more information.

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Environmental Management System

The Region of Waterloo's Waste Management Centre (WMC), was registered to ISO 14001 standard on June 24, 1998, making us the first municipal waste management facility in North America with such a designation.

Our Environmental Policy was established to include our commitment to continual improvement and prevention of pollution; to comply with relevant environmental legislation and regulations and to setting environmental objectives and targets.

Want to learn more about how we implemented our Environmental Management System?

Want to learn more about the ISO14000 series of standards
To order copies of the ISO series of standards contact the Canadian Standards Association.

If you have questions regarding our environmental management system, please contact  Deanna Dakin .

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Waste Management facilities and operations:

The only operating landfill in the Region of Waterloo is the Waterloo landfill. Opened in 1972, the site covers 125 hectares, 71 hectares dedicated to landfilling. The landfill will reach capacity at 15 million tonnes of waste. It is anticipated operations will continue to at least 2030. For detailed information on the landfill operations and environmental programs, please see the Environmental controls and programs brochure. The Waterloo site also includes the recycling centre, an environmental education centre, public drop-off area with over a dozen diversion programs and the green bin transfer area.

The Region's Waste Management Division is responsible for several other waste management facilities, both operating and closed. The Region continues to monitor several closed landfills such as the Cambridge and Kitchener  sites. Please see the Closed landfills brochure for more detailed information.

Landfill Gas to Energy - Waterloo and Cambridge sites

As waste slowly decomposes in the landfill, specifically organic waste, landfill gas is produced as a part of the decomposition of the waste. Landfill gas is approximately 50 per cent methane, 50 per cent carbon dioxide and water vapour with very small amounts of nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Methane gas is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

To capture and use the landfill gas, gas collection systems are operated at both the Waterloo and Cambridge landfill sites.

Waterloo site: The landfill gas collection system at the Waterloo site was established in 1994. In 1998, an electricity plant was constructed on the Waterloo landfill site in a partnership project with Toromont Energy.

At the Waterloo site, landfill gas is collected through a network of gas wells, horizontal trenches and several kilometres of piping installed in the landfill. The gas is pulled with mechanical blowers into the Toromont Energy plant at a rate of approximately 1,300 - 1,400 cubic feet per minute. This gas is used as a fuel source to generate electricity. Monthly, on average, the power produced is approximately 3,024,000 kilowatt-hour (2013). The electricity produced is fed into the main power supply grid where it is distributed into homes in the Region. Between 4,000 and 6,000 homes are powered by the green electricity produced from the landfill gas.

Before the Toromont power plant opened, an approved landfill gas flare was Photo of gas flares at electricity plantused to burn off the gas. This flare remains in place to be used as a contingency measure. A second landfill gas flare was installed in 2010 to provide additional flaring capacity at the site, if required.

Cambridge site: The landfill gas collection system at the Cambridge site was also established in 1994. In 1996, the Region partnered with Gerdau Ameristeel, a steel manufacturer, to use the landfill gas in their reheat furnace, thereby reducing their requirement for natural gas. This system is still on-going.

More information: For more detailed information on the gas-to-energy system at the Waterloo landfill site, please see the Landfill gas to energy brochure.

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Odour Control Program

The Region of Waterloo is committed to minimizing the impact of the Waterloo Waste Management Site on neighbouring property owners. The Region works very hard to respond to concerns raised by residents.


Significant growth in the City of Waterloo over the past few years has brought commercial and residential development closer to the landfill site than ever before. The nearest residential homes are now located approximately 500 metres east of the site. Ongoing commercial developments east of the site, when completed, will be less than 500 metres from our property line. 

Recognizing this growth and the potential for odour issues associated with the landfill site, the Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee (WRLLC) and landfill planning staff has worked to introduce a notification clause on property deeds for new subdivisions and commercial sites in the area. The notification clause states:  "Due to its proximity to the Waterloo Waste Management Facility, odour levels on this property may occasionally cause concern to some individuals." 

The purpose of the notification clause is to make future residents and developers aware of their proximity to the landfill, and the potential impact of the landfill on their property. Since 2004, the notification clause has been imposed on developments east of the Site, and will be imposed on future developments.

The Region has an effective Environmental Management System (EMS) and is ISO 14001 registered. The EMS sets environmental goals for the site and monitors progress towards achieving these goals. 

As part of this system, communications from residents (including odour concerns as well as litter, noise, etc.) are recorded in a database and reviewed by the Region to determine the cause of any issues and any action steps required. The Region submits the communication summary and the quarterly minutes of the Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee to the Ministry of Environment.

The Region has kept records of odour complaints since 1999, as represented in the attached table.

Odour Control History

The primary method of odour control for the Waterloo Landfill Site is a landfill gas collection system.

At present, the original landfill area (OLA) and those cells developed in the north expansion area (NEA), and a portion of the south expansion (SEA) are connected to the landfill gas collection system. In 2012, the Region constructed another cell in the NEA (NE-4). This cell will be the last remaining cell in the north area. Upon completion of the north landfill area, the Region will develop additional approved cells in the SEA, currently scheduled for 2014. 

Odour Control Initiatives - 2013

As part of the ongoing assessments of the Landfill Site, the Region has identified several initiatives to control odour emissions in 2013. They are outlined below: 

  1. Trial installation of a leachate additive at Pumping Station 4 (PS4) to treat odours from the leachate wet well in the SEA. Installed in April 2013.
  2. Conduct field investigation into the landfill gas distributioPicture of trenching for gas line installationn across the site to determine areas of elevated readings and flow.
  3. Clay capping of the side slopes that have reached final grade in the south expansion area.
  4. Installation of temporary gas collection wells in the south expansion area to increase capture of the landfill gas.
  5. Installation of horizontal trenches and associated hook-ups into the gas collection system.
  6. The continued operation of the fence-line sprays misting system as well as a portable spray misting system.

The Region has also retained air emissions consultants, RWDI, to continue air quality monitoring at the site as well as odour monitoring on and off the site. This includes walk-over surveys of the site to identify areas in the cover of the landfill site that may be venting landfill gas. Any areas identified are then remediated as required. This is typically conducted four times throughout the year. 

For the longer term, the Region has several feasibility evaluations underway to assess improved methods of landfill gas collection. This work involves assessments of the existing management of leachate and gas to improve efficiencies of these systems. This work will be completed in 2013, with any necessary approvals and construction to occur in subsequent years. 

The Region of Waterloo is committed to reducing the impact of the Waterloo Waste Management Site on adjacent property owners, and activities are in place to make continual improvements to odour reduction and respond to any concerns raised. In addition, the Region will continue to work with the Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee to cooperatively resolve operational issues as they arise. 

To provide feedback to the Region on odours or any other landfill operations, please see the section below on public involvement and the Liaison Committee. 


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Public Involvement - Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee

The Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee was formed in 1993.The goal of the Committee is to provide regular and effective communication between the Region, local residents and the Ministry of the Environment on the operation of the Waterloo Landfill Site. The Committee is governed by the Terms of Reference.

The committee meets quarterly. These meetings are open to the public; residents do not need to call ahead to attend. Please refer to the schedule below. If a resident is unable to attend but would like to offer input, please contact Linda Churchill , Senior Environmental Engineer.

The residents of the Liaison committee select and retain an independent consultant to provide support on their behalf. The consultant advises on technical matters regarding landfill monitoring and operations, and is paid by the Region.

Meeting Information

Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee Meetings - Waterloo Landfill
925 Erb Street West, Gate 1, Administration Building, Waterloo, ON
7 p.m.

Meeting Information 2015

 Meeting Dates
(click on date to see a copy of the agenda)
(click on date to see a copy of the minutes)
 February 3, 2015 
 May 5, 2015 
 August 4, 2015 
 November 3, 2015 

Meeting Information 2014

Meeting Dates
(click on date to see a copy of the agenda)

(click on date to see a copy of the minutes)

February 4, 2014

February 4, 2014

May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

November 4, 2014

 November 4, 2014

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