ELS PROJECT

Valoris

Current Status

Since the summer of 2009, the Régie intermunicipale du centre de valorisation des matières résiduelles du Haut-Saint-François et de Sherbrooke, also known as Valoris, has been managing and operating an engineered landfill site (ELS), which recovers primarily the waste materials from 14 municipalities of the MRC du Haut-Saint-François and from the city of Sherbrooke. The ELS, within the municipality of Bury in the MRC du Haut-Saint-François, is authorized to operate pursuant to authorization from the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) du Québec.

The total landfill capacity authorized, as per the certificate of authorization, is 755 000 m3. The estimated total volume of landfill as of December 31, 2018, is ± 650 000 m³, leaving a remaining landfill capacity of 105 000 m3. At the current landfill rate, Valoris estimates that the remaining operational life of the ELS would permit waste burial until the end of the summer of 2020. As it intends to continue its ELS operation to meet the future disposal needs of its members and external clients, Valoris is thus planning to expand its landfill site on its property.

Needs Assessment

Justification for the quantity of annual residual materials to be disposed of at the Valoris ELS is based on the quantity of landfill from 2013 to 2017 (an average of 74 085 tonnes annually) and the waste disposal forecasts resulting from implementation of the 2016-2020 Residual Materials Management Plans of theMRC du Haut-Saint-François and the Ville de Sherbrooke. Accordingly, both municipal entities set the objective of achieving a disposal rate of 450 kg/per capita across all sectors combined by 2020.

The targeted disposal rate of 450 kg/per capita was used for the 2020 calculation. For the subsequent years, we projected that the disposal rate will gradually decrease following collective efforts to increase recovery, recycling, and reuse rates.

For the period covered by this estimation exercise, the average tonnage of material wastes to be buried at the ELS will be 80 000 tonnes per year.

The landfill projections for the new ELS have been based on worst-case scenarios. These calculations have not taken into account the return-to-service of the Valoris factory or government of Québec measures prohibiting the burial of certain materials: Organic materials, paper, cardboard, and wood.

Future annual landfill projections

ELS Expansion

The land owned by Valoris includes a zone of approximately 33.5 ha in an area reserved for its future landfill needs. The capacity of the expansion for the burial of waste materials is preliminarily evaluated at approximately 5 million m3or 4 million metric tonnes of waste. Valoris forecasts an annual tonnage varying from 65 000 to 80 000 tonnes and a maximum tonnage of 99 500 metric tonnes for its expansion project. 

Development and Technologies

The development of this zone will be carried out in compliance with the Regulation respecting the landfilling and incineration of residual materials)and in line with previously authorized landfill operations. The main technical components will be defined during site planning and include the following in a summarized form:

  • Ten landfill cells, each with a double membrane waterproofing system using high-density polyethylene;
  • A first- and second-level leachate collection system which will direct this water to a wastewater treatment system;
  • A final high-density polyethylene waterproof membrane covering;
  • Biogas capture shafts, and a biogas collection and active transport system leading to the disposal device (waste gas burner);
  • A network of peripheral drainage channels for the evacuation of surface runoff water.

ELS waterproof protection system and typical drainage system

Preparation of the bottom of an ELS cell before filling

View of an ELS cell after filling and closing

ELS biogas destruction system

Biogas Management

For the moment, biogas will be disposed of in the collection station and eventually recovered. This station will be modified according to the needs generated by the expansion project.

Water Treatment

Leachate water treatment will be ensured by a previously installed treatment system which will be expanded as needed to satisfy the requirements of the expansion project. The treated water is directed by a drainage channel towards the Bégin Stream that flows into the Saint-François River.

The ELS’ leachate water treatment system

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The complementary facilities of the current ELS, such as the access route, garage, scale, etc., will be conserved within the context of the expansion project, and will be modified as needed. The environmental surveillance and follow-up plan will also be adapted to meet the new requirements of the MELCC.