It has been two decades since the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre (OVWRC) opened to receive Municipal waste, recycling and organic material. Since 2002, OVWRC has worked together with local Municipalities to “walk lightly on the environment” and keep over 300,000 tonnes of recyclables, food and yard waste and construction and demolition material out of landfill.
In January 2002, the newly constructed Material Recovery Facility, Containerized Compost Facility and Construction and Demolition Site began receiving material from surrounding communities. Built adjacent to the existing landfill site, the primary goal of the Centre’s Waste Management Programs was to extend the life of the landfill. The landfill, which has been operating since 1977, is expected to reach capacity by 2035.
During the last 20 years the site has seen significant changes. The Household Hazardous Waste program was expanded and continues to operate year-round along with the Electronic Waste Program which was launched in 2009. The leachate treatment system was constructed in 2010 to capture and filter ground and surface water that may be impacted by landfill operations. To compliment the leachate treatment system 108 poplar trees were planted in 2014. They help absorb and filter water before it reaches the leachate treatment system. An additional 200 trees were planted in 2017 and 1,000 in 2021. A landfill gas collection system became operational in 2011 and a Reuse Centre opened in 2015. The landfill gas collection system was expanded in 2020 with an additional 12 wells installed.
There are five current Waste Recovery Centre employees who have been there since 2001 and they recently received their 20-year service pin. Laurie Benjamin, Elizabeth Graham, Chris Hoffman, Mary Ryan and Alan Schutt all started at the Centre in November 2001 and assisted with the roll-out of the new waste management program which launched January 2, 2002.
Sue McCrae, General Manager at the Waste Recovery Centre acknowledges their dedicated service. “Employees are our most valuable resource and we cannot thank them enough for their long-term dedication to the Centre and its operations.”
Laurentian Valley Mayor and Chair of the Ottawa Valley Waste Management Board, Steve Bennett, who has been part of the board since 2003, agrees. “The commitment and accomplishments of these staff members over the last 20 years is something to be celebrated. We thank them for their dedication and teamwork.”
The Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre is a Municipal partnership between the Town of Petawawa, the City of Pembroke, the Township of Laurentian Valley and the Township of North Algona Wilberforce. The community can follow the Centre on Facebook and Twitter for interesting facts and OVWRC history throughout 2022.
Sue McCrae, Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre General Manager (left) presents Centre staff with their 20-year service pin. Left to right is Laurie Benjamin, Diversion Supervisor; Mary Ryan, Gatehouse Attendant; Chris Hoffman, Waste Technician; Alan Schutt, Equipment Operator and Elizabeth Graham, Communications Officer.