Sechelt dump curbing operations due to ‘unstable ground’

Ground in the public drop-off area at the Sechelt Landfill is unstable, forcing staff to cut operations as they scramble to fix the problem.

The issue emerged two weeks ago, when “indications that the ground is unstable” began to appear, according to a staff report from a Round 2 budget committee meeting at Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) headquarters.

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The landfill, located at 4901 Dusty Rd., was closed over the weekend to allow staff to assess the problem.

Regular operating hours are back in effect, but portions of the drop-off area are now closed off until further notice, and materials that can be dropped off have been restricted. Mattresses, paint and household hazardous waste, and propane tanks will no longer be accepted because of a lack of space.

At the meeting directors approved $200,000 from taxation to be spent on an investigation into the cause and extent of the issue and to develop a short-term operating plan so that all types of garbage can be accepted. A remediation plan is also required. Staff are unsure about the total cost of the fix at this point.

A long line-up of cars stretched down the road to the landfill when it reopened on Monday. “It’s beneficial for landfill operations as well as the community if we can expand our site as soon as possible, just from a traffic control point of view,” said infrastructure general manager Remko Rosenboom.

“It was getting dicey out there.”

No cause has been identified, but Rosenboom said recent heavy rains may be a contributing factor.

Adoption of the budget item was expected at the Feb. 13 board meeting.

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