18th August 2011
Environment

How many Landfills are there in Canada?

We are a society that has a talent for producing waste, yet we don’t even know truly how many landfills we have in Canada.

Do you know how many landfills we have in Canada, even roughly?  Take a guess.

The rough answer was found on the government LIMO site, “There are at least 2400 landfills in Canada, according to Landfill Inventory Management Ontario (LIMO).” *

That is a lot of garbage, and we are adding to it every day. Did you notice how the above quote says at least, it would appear the LIMO doesn’t even have an exact number, amazing.

If you think about it, as our population grows, so will our landfills in Canada. We purchase products, and for the most part the packaging goes into the garbage bin, and when we’re done with the product, it follows the same path to the dump, except for the small percentage that  is recycled. A large portion of Canadians do not know how much garbage they are responsible for each year and this “out of sight, out of mind” mentality is killing our planet.

Here is an interesting thought.  How many times a year do you visit a landfill? I used to go to drop my garbage off at the dump when I was in Calgary every two weeks, and it was sickening to see a large deep hole in the earth where garbage was being thrown in; even worse, I was adding to it.

Years ago when I lived in Puslinch, there was this old farmer, Frank, who called the local dump “The Exchange”. You see Frank was wise beyond his time and treated the landfill like a the penny tray in the corner store. Need something, take it, don’t need it, leave it. I think to myself, “Thank God for garage sales.”

Last night as I was standing in a super market at the check out it hit me just how much we truly consume.  I started to look at the centre isles where the variety of products are abundant and packaged, packages of individually packaged portions prevail. Alliteration ? No, overuse of the letter “p”.

Then I started to think how many super markets there were, and how all these brands were in each supermarket since I was very young. I also thought about how many new brands have come about in the last decade…

So what can we do with our consumer habits that are sadly helping to quickly fill more landfills?  We could stop consuming, but this wouldn’t’ be that smart for our economy, or we could become wise consumers, which at the moment makes more sense.

How do you become a wise consumer?

First, really take note of how a company packages their goods that you are debating about purchasing. Everything takes energy to create, so find a product that is wrapped in less packaging.

I’m going to work on becoming much more aware of what my items are packaged in, and I hope you will too. As landfills become more advanced, the process of materials being broken down and decomposed will become more efficient.

Here is what I propose, let’s help out and purchase plant based plastics, and recycle whenever we can. We could even try to avoid packaged materials as best we can. Opt for the earth friendly packaged containers over a lesser friendly version … and of course, visit the bulk bins for beans and rice and “the exchange” for that “new” bicycle.

* Citations:

http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/monitoring_and_reporting/limo/index.htm

Here is a really neat video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2x4S9svpI&feature=fvsr[/youtube]

This article has 1 comment

  1. A.T.P.

    That’s 2,400 sites in Ontario:

    32 large sites:

    https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/map-large-landfill-sites

    2,375 small sites:

    https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/small-landfill-sites-list

    The # for Canada may be around 10K, but having trouble finding data source.

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