RDN turning trash pile into parkland

A hill of trash will be turned into a public park next year by the Regional District of Nanaimo.

The park will be built over Cell 1 at the regional landfill, known as the old dump that was closed in 1996, and will include a trail system and a meadow containing native plants.

It’s part of the RDN’s 20-year plan to upgrade infrastructure at the regional landfill in north Cedar.

The plan includes recapping Cell 1 to prevent contaminants leaching into the groundwater, expanding Cell 2, seismic stability upgrades, the nature park and other upgrades. The total cost of the project is estimated at $36 million and funding is expected to be raised through landfill tipping fees, with no impact to property taxes.

Carey McIver, the RDN’s manager of solid waste, said she’s excited about the project.

“We want this to be something that people will use,” she said.

This summer the RDN will recap Cell 1, for an estimated cost of $2.5 million. It includes filling in the clay cap, which was worn away by rain.

The new cap will prevent water from filtering down into the garbage and creating leachate that could leak into the groundwater. McIver said the work is proactive and precautionary, as nothing has leaked into groundwater yet. However, the leachate was creating problems for the methane gas collectors.

In the spring of 2012, construction of the nature park will begin, with an estimated cost of more than $1.5 million, and it will open to the public in 2013.

The planned park is three hectares, located on the west end of the landfill near Fielding Road. Cell 1 totals eight hectares and the remaining land will act as a buffer between the park and continued landfill operations in Cell 2.

Last week, the RDN Committee of the Whole agreed to award Knappett Industries Ltd. the $1.57-million contract to complete Phase 1 of the nature park. The motion now goes to the RDN board for final approval.

For more information about the project, please to to


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