The City of North Bay has proposed bringing the operation of the Merrick Landfill in-house in the new year, the savings of which, staff believe, could be put toward the site’s future expansion.
City staff presented a business plan to members of council’s infrastructure and operations committee Tuesday evening, including what the project capital and operating costs would be.
A majority of the committee supported the proposal. It will now head to council for final approval.
A “substantial” capital investment will be required to have the city take over the landfill’s operation, senior environment and facilities engineer Karin Pratte said, mostly involving fleet.
Proposed equipment needs include a landfill compactor (CAT 826 or equivalent), landfill loader (CAT 950XL), landfill bulldozer (CAT D5 or equivalent), three-quarter ton pickup truck with sander, fuel tank, equipment shelter and other equipment such as blasting matts and litter fencing.
The total cost would be $1,840,500, of which most – or $1.025 million – would be for the compactor used to crush garbage.
The equipment would be bought new. The exception would be the bulldozer, which Schiavone said was due to concerns about buying everything new and having the landfill’s key pieces of equipment on-site come to the end of their useful life at the same time.
A total of $1,163,000 from the city’s landfill reserve would be used to cover most of the expenses. This is expected to be recovered in full in 2027 through annual savings. After that, the savings would be used to fund the expansion of the landfill.
Another $677,500 would come from fleet reserves, which staff said is within the fleet department’s annual allowance for capital purchases. This money is available, in part, because the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in less wear and tear on equipment, while a new fleet management system has improved city maintenance.
STAFF AND OPERATIONS
The city currently employs a landfill coordinator, as well as three full-time and one-part time unionized landfill attendants.
There would be a new landfill supervisor hired at a cost of $144,797 and five unionized positions, including another full-time landfill attendant at $77,744 and four full-time landfill equipment operators at $324,595, for a total of $547,136.
Staff said this is consistent with what the current contractor and other municipalities have.
The projected operating, equipment and road maintenance costs are expected to be $498,349, of which nearly three-quarters is tied to the compactor and fuel. Some funds may be required to rent specialized equipment.
After factoring in additional costs such as overtime, temporary salaries, personal protective equipment, training, boot allowance and mileage for the landfill supervisor to drive out to the site, the expected annual operating budget is more than $1.12 million.
This is compared to what Bruman has been paid in recent years through its unit rate contract – based on the volume of waste and contaminated soil and sludge, as well as on-site equipment – which has fluctuated from nearly $1.12 million in 2016 to almost $1.5 million in 2018 due to a large contaminated soil project.
Nearly $1.42 million in costs was recorded in 2020 because of increased waste, believed to be caused by the pandemic and more people staying home cleaning and doing renovations.