Topic: Innovative remediation and recycling solutions for restoring an unregulated dump-site in an environmentally sensitive area in northwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Speaker(s): Tony Ciarla, Executive Vice President, KLS Earthworks & Environmental and Greg Whyte, President, Cirrus Environmental Services
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Location: Royal Glenora Club, 11160 River Valley Road, Edmonton, AB T5J 2G7
Doors Open: 11:15 am
Lunch: 11:45 am
Presentation: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
The Glacier Ridge area in northwest Calgary, Alberta encompasses approximately 1,012 hectares of agricultural land that will be developed for future residential and commercial land use. During pre-development assessment activities conducted in 2014, Cirrus Environmental Service Inc. (Cirrus) identified approximately 11,000m3 (±10%) of debris that had been deposited sometime after 1982 on the sides and bottom of a ravine containing a perennial drainage channel and a surface water-body. The debris was primarily composed of clean-soil (55%) co-mingled with concrete and metal re-bar (45%) and municipal solid waste (<1%). Free-phase liquids, hydrocarbons, solvents or other contaminants were not observed. Sampling and testing conducted by Cirrus indicated that the debris was not having an adverse effect.
A residential community and a pathway system are to be built in and around the ravine; as a result, the developer, Ronmor Developers Inc., wanted to restore the ravine to an attractive, safe and natural condition - in a cost-effective manner.
The project presented several challenges: 1) working on steep and unstable slopes; 2) loose, heavy and unconsolidated waste along with other sharp materials; and, 3) much of the debris was located within the saturated zone at the bottom of the ravine. Initial estimates, using a traditional dig and haul strategy, placed the restoration plan at approximately $3M CAD. Ronmor challenged Cirrus and KLS Earthworks and Environmental (KLS) to achieve its project objectives using a different approach. The project team in close consultation with the City of Calgary and provincial regulators, developed and executed an innovative and challenging restoration plan that minimized damage to environmentally sensitive areas, prevented accidental discharge of sediment or waste to the surface water body, recycled and re-used the construction debris, reclaimed the clean soil and minimized all waste being sent to a landfill.
The plan focused on three things: 1) working while conditions were freezing or near-freezing to minimize the disturbance of sediment and soils and the effects of erosion from rain and snowmelt; 2) “surgically” removing the debris in lifts - starting from the toe of the debris piles(s) and pulling the material back toward pre-existing ground surface, then placing the material inlined and bermed temporary storage cells upgradient from the active work area(s). Great care was taken while excavating the Debris to ensure that larger pieces of refuse are not broken-up or damaged such that smaller pieces become co-mingled with clean soil; and, 3) efficient on-site processing and management of all three material streams.
Cirrus and KLS helped Ronmor achieve its tough project objectives. All of the reclaimed soil was used on-site, recycled concrete was crushed and used for road base, the scrap metal was recycled and less than 1% of the total debris was sent to a landfill. In the end, the ravine was restored to a natural, attractive and safe condition for approximately 1/3 the cost of using a traditional dig and haul strategy.
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