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Environmental Management

Aerial view of the Waterloo Waste Management site

The Region of Waterloo is responsible for residential waste management in the seven local area municipalities, landfill operation and monitoring, two transfer stations, and future waste management planning.

Since the 1980s, we've consulted with our residents and developed master plans to guide our activities. In 2013, a new Waste Management Master Plan was approved. Our priority has been and continues to be to reduce the waste going to landfill in an environmentally-responsible way.  

Our Environmental Management System

The Region of Waterloo's Environmental Policy was established for the Waterloo Waste Management site (located at 925 Erb Street West) and includes our commitment to a number of things including:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Pollution prevention
  • Compliance with relevant environmental requirements

Waste Management Approvals

The Region's Waste Management site in Waterloo operates under an approval issued by the Province of Ontario. This approval covers activities, such as:

  • Landfill site
  • Recycling sorting centre
  • Public drop-off area (transfer station)
  • Yard waste compost area
  • Organic (green bin) waste transfer area
  • Household hazardous waste drop-off

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. A140301 January 5, 1994 

Amendment for Horizontal Drilling Trial August 11, 2004

Amendment for Air Monitoring Program March 23, 2009 

Amendment for Post-Construction Summary SE1 / 3 September 29, 2009

Amendment for MRC Upgrades and Organic Transfer Area January 11, 2010

Amendment for Landfill Base Design Features September 28 2011

Application for Amendment for Refinement of Landfill Base Design Features and Expansion of the Landfill Gas Collection System December 29, 2014 (24 MB) Due to its technical nature, this document is not accessible. Alternate formats of this document are available upon request. Please contact by email Terri Ormson or telephone 519-575-4400 ext. 3574 (or TTY: 519-575-4608) to request and alternate format.

The Waterloo Waste Management site has additional provincial approvals for activities related to our storm water ponds and air (landfill gas flare and Recycling Centre exhaust). Contact the Senior Environmental Engineer for more information.

Landfill gas to green energy

As waste slowly decays in the landfill, especially organics such as food scraps, gas is produced. Landfill gas is mostly made up of methane, 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.

Gas collection systems operate at both the Waterloo and Cambridge landfills. The landfill gas is collected through a network of pipes and wells.

Waterloo site: The landfill gas collection system at our Photo of gas flares at electricity plantWaterloo site was started in 1994. At that time, the gas was burned using an approved flare. In 1998, an electricity plant was constructed in partnership with Toromont Energy. For more details on the Waterloo gas-to-energy system, please see the Landfill gas to energy brochure.

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, to reduce their need for natural gas.

Landfill Odour Control program

Landfill odour may be present from time to time as a result of site operations, Picture of trenching for gas line installationweather conditions, or construction activities. The Region of Waterloo has several initiatives to minimize the impact of the Waterloo Waste Management site on neighbouring property owners:

  • The Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee. (See section below.)
  • Increasing awareness of property owners of new developments near the landfill:  Since 2004, the Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee and landfill planning staff have introduced a clause on property deeds for new subdivisions and commercial sites in the area. This clause states: "Due to its proximity to the Waterloo Waste Management Facility, odour levels on this property may occasionally cause concern to some individuals."
  • Air quality monitoring:  An air emissions consultant monitors air quality at the site and in the neighbouring community four to six times each year to see if there are areas which are venting landfill gas.
  • Environmental Management System (EMS):  Our 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 and addressed. See the attached table for a summary of the past 10 years of odour concerns. The Region submits the communication summary to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

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

Public involvement - Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee

The Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee was formed in 1993 for the Waterloo Landfill Site to:

  • Provide regular and effective communication between the Region, local residents, and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Cooperatively resolve operational issues as they arise

The Committee is governed by a Terms of Reference.

The residents on the Liaison committee select and retain independent consultants to provide support on their behalf. The consultants advise on technical matters regarding landfill monitoring and operations, and are paid by the Region.

The Region submits the minutes of the Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Meeting information

These meetings are open to the public; residents do not need to call ahead to attend. Contact the Senior Environmental Engineer (519-575-4400 ext. 8421) if you are unable to attend but would like to offer input.

Location:  Waterloo Waste Management site 925 Erb Street West, Gate 1, Administration Building, Waterloo, ON 7 p.m.

Schedule:  The committee meets quarterly. Please refer to the schedule below.

Agendas and minutes:  The following documents are not available in an accessible format. If you would like more information, please contact the Senior Environmental Engineer (519-575-4400 ext. 8421).

2017 meeting schedule, agendas and minutes of Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee

February 7, 2017 minutes (no agenda)

February 28, 2017 minutes (no agenda)

May 2, 2017 agenda

May 2, 2017 minutes

August 1, 2017 agenda

August 1, 2017 minutes

November 7, 2017

2016 meeting schedule, agendas and minutes of Waterloo Region Landfill Liaison Committee

January 12, 2016 minutes (no agenda)

February 2, 2016 agenda

February 2, 2016 minutes

May 3, 2016 agenda

May 3, 2016 minutes

August 2, 2016 minutes (no agenda)

November 1, 2016 minutes (no agenda)

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