More to landfills than burying garbage

Dave Mathieson
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Published on June 11, 2014

The tour went past the landfill.

Published on June 11, 2014

These are the materials that make up the liner at the bottom of the landfill. This model is less than half the thickness of the real liner.

Published on June 11, 2014

The tour also looked at the composts site at the facility.

Published on June 11, 2014

Brenda Rioux led the tour. Here she describes how products are recycled in the recycling plant at the facility.

Published on June 11, 2014

A bundle of paint cans in the recycling plant.

Published on June 11, 2014

The sign on the steel/tin says the bundle is shipped largely to Tri Province Enterprises n Moncton where the material is used for steel roofing, siding and drainage products.

Published on June 11, 2014

Bundles of rigid plastics are shipped around the world and used for fleece clothing, picture frames, outdoor furniture and drainage pipes.

Published on June 11, 2014

Most cardboard is shipped to Lake Utopia Paper in Moncton. It is a J.D. Irving company that produces market pulp, commerical printing papers, corrugated cardboard and tissues.

Published on June 11, 2014

The tour of the recycling facility comes to an end.

AMHERST - The history of human needs, desires and impulses can be found in discarded items in archaeological landfills throughout the world. Thousands of years from now, future humans will likely dig through our landfills to see what altars we worshipped at.

“This stuff will never break down,” said Stephen Rayworth, solid waste manager at the Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority in Little Forks.

People went on a hayride tour of the CJSMA Little Forks facility on Saturday.

The tour gave people a better understanding of the CJSMA’s compost, recycling and landfill facilities.


“We receive close to 4,000 metric tons of raw material a year and we end up with around 2,000 metric tons a year to sell,” said Rayworth.


By far, the most labour intensive part of the facility is recycling.

“We sort recycling into seven different materials. There’s paper, cardboard, a couple different types of plastic, aluminum and steel,” said Rayworth.

“Aluminum is traded on an open market, so prices fluctuate all the time,” he added. “For the most part, cardboard is the steadiest income.”

Sorting materials can sometimes be dangerous.

“Believe it or not we’ve seen bullets in there and dirty diapers and things of that nature,” said Rayworth. “Who wants to be handling that stuff?”

If a worker is stuck with a needle they go for testing at the hospital for 18 months.

Last year the CJSMA sold 3,100 metric tons of material for recycling.

“Between waste from residences and businesses in Cumberland County that equates to a greenhouse reduction equivalent of 2,983 cars.”


The landfill has about four more years of room before they have to build a new landfill next to the current landfill.

“We have about four years left on our existing cell, so the process is going to start next summer to design our new cell, and construction will start the summer after,” said Rayworth.

The new cell will cost about $3 million.

“I started here in 2007 and the cost to build a new cell was $140 per square metre, its now $270 per square metre.”

The change in cost is due to the rise in cost of material to build a new landfill.

The liner system is a metre and a half thick. At it’s base is native clay, and built up on that is gravel, hard sand, the first liner, which is quarter inch thick HTP plastic, more sand, a layer of soil, two more liners, hard sand, two layers of stone, and a cushion layer.

There are 56 monitors around the site and an independent consultant comes out to take measurement from those monitors four times a year.

“There’s a lot to it,” said Rayworth.

Organizations: Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County

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