EDITORIAL: Hartland landfill more than a dump

Editorial on the positive aspects of the Capital Regional District's solid waste management operations

Who knew going through the trash could be so fascinating?

It’s one thing to get your annual property tax bill, see the line for garbage collection, pay what you owe and forget about it until next year. But it’s an entirely different experience seeing exactly where your money goes by taking a tour of Hartland landfill.

This is where every piece of garbage thrown away in the Capital Region ends up.

But Hartland is not a dump. It used to be, back in the 1950s, a pit where you’d go and dump your trash. Now, this is an engineered, sanitary landfill.

This weekend’s Hartland Happening event at the landfill is a great opportunity for our region’s residents to not only get a lesson on what happens to our garbage, but to appreciate just how the Capital Regional District is managing to reduce the environmental impact of the landfill on our land, in our water and in the air we breathe.

That latter component of the landfill’s operations is quite impressive, and something we in Greater Victoria should be proud of. Not every landfill has procedures to prevent greenhouse gas emissions coming off the pile of garbage from entering the atmosphere, or screens that prevent rainwater from seeping through the soil and down deep into the rotting waste to become hazardous leachate.

It’s also slowly returning to its former state as a native forest, thanks to a reforestation plan that will eventually see the entire landfill become – on the surface – nothing more than thriving plants and animals.

With all the ongoing heated discussions surrounding the CRD’s future plans on managing and treating our liquid waste, it’s nice to see our solid waste is in really good hands.

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