Excess soils and Brown Soils being used as fill are the subject of concern in many parts of Ontario. Excess soil largely comes from construction sites. Brown soil has been contaminated by industrial or other processes, but not to the levels or of the kinds that would classify it as hazardous waste. Both excess and contaminated brown soil are being transported to rural sites, including pits and quarries around urban areas and cause concern with residents.

Dumps are unlined sites where materials are being deposited. Pits and quarries in secluded rural areas are obvious targets for this if the community is not vigilant. Some would also consider the use of pits and quarries for the storage of tires, concrete, asphalt, construction waste as dumping, and worry about effects on air and water quality as well as the impact of the trucking on local roads.

Landfills, approved by the Minister of the Environment, collect waste from residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. Under the proposed Waste-Free Ontario Act, the 20 year capacity of current dumps would be extended by resource recovery, waste reduction and diversion, and a circular economy. Science warns us that liners often leak, exposing ground water to contamination. Off-gassing, dust, noise, odour, loss of value and enjoyment of adjoining properties are other issues with landfills.


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