Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Landfill Re-engineering Project

What is the Project and why is it being done?

To help protect the environment and preserve groundwater quality, the Barrie Landfill is being re-engineered. This re-engineering consists of 3 phases, during which approximately 60% of the existing landfill will be reclaimed and lined. Reclamation involves digging out the waste, screening it to separate fine material (cover sand) from the larger waste materials and recompacting the waste in newly constructed lined cells.

These reconstructed cells are lined with plastic and clay liners placed below the waste that will prevent contaminated water, or leachate, from entering into the groundwater from below the landfill. In total, 1,620,000 m³ of waste will go through this process. This is approximately 49 times the volume of the Barrie Molson Centre (BMC) Arena.

Where are we now?

Phase 1 was completed in 2009, and included installation of liners and a leachate collection system under the south part of the landfill.

Phase 2 was completed in February 2013, and included the installation of liners and a leachate collection system under the central portion of the landfill, and expansion of the landfill gas collection system.

Phase 3 started this past March 2013, and will include screening of the remaining waste and the construction of liner and leachate collection systems along the north section of the landfill. Improvements to the surface water drainage controls will also be completed. Phase 3 is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

The Landfill Gas Collection and Flaring Plant were opened in 2011 and are now operational. Expansion of the gas collection system is ongoing as new waste cells are constructed.

What’s next?

Phase 3 - Stage 1 consists of the installation and construction of the liner and leachate collection system in the northwestern section of the landfill. Once these engineering controls are in place and approved by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, waste will be placed in this cell. This cell will be the main garbage fill area for 2014.

Waste screening operations have not been scheduled this summer in order to reduce the potional for odour impacts on nearby residents. Waste screening will resume in September 2014 for the remainder of the year.

We’ve heard what you think

We appreciate the support we have received from our neighbours since the project began in 2008. Your feedback is important to us, and we will continue to do everything we can to minimize impacts on the community during the project. We encourage you to provide any questions or comments you have.

Now here’s what we are doing:

Air Quality and Health Assessment

An Air Quality study was completed to determine what compounds are potentially released from the landfill. Following the Air Quality study, a Health Study was carried out to assess if these compounds can harm people’s health. The Air Quality study collected and analyzed air samples from the landfill site and neighbouring area, and the Health Study confirmed that the gases from the landfill do not pose a health concern to the public. The main causes of the odour from this site are sulphur compounds formed in the waste. A new Landfill Gas Collection System is in place and helps capture gases from the completed cells.

Odour Monitoring

During the Landfill Re-engineering Project activities, areas neighbouring the landfill are routinely monitored for odour by City of Barrie employees. We encourage you to call City of Barrie staff at 705-739-4220 ext. 4516 if you have any concerns about odours resulting from the project.

Odour Control

When significant odours are detected, work at the landfill is immediately adjusted or stopped. We work within small areas of exposed waste to minimize odours. If needed, Odour Suppressant Foam and Odour Suppressant Misters are used to control odours during the work. Odour control mechanisms have also been investigated to determine their health effects, and are considered safe for use at the landfill.

Who do I contact with my questions and concerns?

The City of Barrie encourages any questions or comments you have about the Landfill Re-engineering Project. If you would like to arrange a tour of the landfill site, or a one-on-one meeting with landfill staff please contact Sandy Coulter at (705) 739-4220 ext. 5826, or by email at

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Has air quality been studied to see if there are any impacts related to the odours from the landfill?

An Air Quality study was completed in November 2010 to assess the impact of the landfill on air quality in the neighbouring community. Air samples were collected from the landfill operations area and the surrounding areas to determine what compounds are potentially released. The compounds in the air samples were tested at a private laboratory for a Health Assessment study.

What were the results of the Air Quality Analysis?

The Air Quality study indicated that the air quality downwind of the site was similar to that upwind of the site. The level of compounds typically associated with landfill odour, for example sulphur and ammonia, were low in the air samples collected downwind of the landfill. Higher levels of these compounds were found within the wastes, but were reduced by the time they reached the site boundary. Odours can be detected by the human nose at levels much lower than can be detected by a laboratory.

Are there any health effects to the community related to the air quality from the landfill?

A Health Assessment study was completed to evaluate the exposure of nearby residents to compounds that could potentially be released into the air from the Landfill Re-engineering Project. The compounds found in samples during the Air Quality study were evaluated in the Health Assessment study to determine if they were a human health concern. The amounts of each compound found in the samples were compared to Provincial and Federal air quality guidelines and health protection standards. The study found that the landfill does not pose a human health concern.

What is causing the odours?

The Air Quality study results showed that low levels of sulphur compounds in the waste were the most likely cause of the odours sometimes experienced by residents during the active waste reclamation activities.

Some of the odours at the landfill are caused by the release of gases within the waste when it is dug up and compacted as part of the Landfill Re-engineering Project. Odour can also be released as a result of composting activities and from landfill gas generated in the newer cells. Occasional odours are also caused by off-site farm activities north of the landfill.

What is being done to control odours from the landfill?

City of Barrie staff routinely monitor residential areas neighbouring the landfill for odours. Residents can also help by reporting odours directly to City staff by calling 705-739-4220 ext. 4516. When significant odours are detected, work at the landfill is changed or stopped. We work within small areas of exposed waste to minimize the release of odour. There are also products that are occasionally used to control odour events at the landfill, including Odour Suppressant Misters and Odour Suppressant Foam. These odour control products are safe for use on the landfill.

The new Landfill Gas Collection System helps capture some of the gases generated within the completed cells.

Waste screening operations have not been scheduled during the summer of 2013 in order to reduce the potential for odour impacts on nearby residents. Waste screening will resume in September 2013 for the remainder of the year.

If I smell an odour from the landfill, is the air safe to breathe?

The air is safe to breathe. It is important to remember that not all bad smells are bad for your health. The City of Barrie will continue to sample air within the landfill work area. These air samples are monitored and compared to specific criteria, which provide acceptable limits to protect worker health. If the amount of compounds in the air approaches these criteria, the work at the landfill will be stopped and assessed before starting again.

How will complaints be addressed and will my voice be heard?

The City of Barrie wants to keep you informed of progress with the Landfill Re-engineering Project, and hear any issues you may have with the project. We welcome any questions or comments you may have. If you would like to arrange a tour of the landfill site, or a one-on-one meeting please contact Sandy Coulter at (705) 739-4220 ext. 5826, or by email at

Looks like your screen is a bit too small

The page you are attempting to view is not currently compatible with the dimensions of your device. Please visit this page on a larger screen.