ERS317 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Hydrogeology
SchoolUniversity of Waterloo
DepartmentEnvironment and Resource Studies
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Week 11 Landﬁll siting
Voluntary Siting Process
Look at diﬀerent criteria that are favourable for the landﬁlls
this process of identifying candidate areas assumes analysis of the land. one doesn’t
want to put landﬁlls in areas of permeable hydrogeology, high quality agricultural areas,
high population and built up areas, industrial areas (except, sometimes it is a good idea to
position them there).
After potential sites have been identiﬁed, you evaluate them. Hire consultant specialists to
go into details of each site. need to have tech info tot compare the sites among each
other. The expensive part of the project; the fees can reach millions.
Consultants look into a list of criteria. E.g how much agri will be disrupted, so which
operation will be the least expensive. Also, social impacts, what will it mean for the
institutions and communities nearby?
What hazards are there that can pose a threat?
Seagulls are attracted to landﬁlls, so one should not be built close to an airport (5-7km).
Heritage, Archaeology, Landscape, Surface Waters, Planned Land Use. These categories
need to be examined. Each one has its own perspective, and tread-oﬀs need to be
These tread-oﬀs are based on priorities.
The decisions eventually need to be not only consulted with the professionals, but also
with the people and the rest.
Often the people are ignored, despite the fact that they can possess information.
New siting process.
The voluntary siting process. First step, before the studies on Heritage, Archaeology,
Landscape, Surface Waters, Planned Land Use, and other criteria of importance, the
governing body chooses and declares a set of potential sites that are worth exploring.
Then, the body has to contact the communities that house the potential sites and get
approval from them. Communities that are not interested in housing a waste facility are
left alone without any further plans for exploration. Only after the approvals are granted,
the decision makers conduct technical and socio-economic evaluations to further select
adequate sites. This process ﬁlters out areas that are ecologically and socially sensitive.
Due to the fact that clearance has already been granted in the previous stage of the siting
process, there is no need for further negotiations: all terms of agreement have already
This became a practice after the political implications of site selection have proven to be
too lengthy and expensive. Previously, siting selection process would start with the
physical (geological and ecological) evaluation of the areas that are pre-selected. The
analysis of the sensitive categories (e.g., heritage lands, surface water presence, etc.) is
expensive. Therefore, if conducted prior to receiving clearance from the community in the
area, this analysis would become a lost cause.
There are campaigns for and against.
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