Community Plan and Zoning By-Law Renewal Project 2020-2021

Solid Waste Management

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Norman Wells (Town) established the Solid Waste Disposal Facility (SWDF) in 1997. The facility has received all types of waste materials over the years from residents and businesses living and operating in Norman Wells. With a history of no control or supervision up until 2021 the site has received storage legacy wastes that include industrial vehicles, tanks, drums and gas cylinders.


Starting in 2021, Council, with the support of the Sahtu Land and Water Board, ENR, MACA, and GNWT Department of lands, enacted a Solid Waste By-Law that regulates the management of waste materials from residents and businesses from collection to the disposal and handling of wastes. The SWDF employs two (2) staff persons on site to receive, screen, store and landfill wastes being delivered by residents and businesses.


The SWDF is permitted to receive waste for landfilling and household hazardous and scrap vehicle wastes for temporary storage prior to transport off-site to approved treatment or disposal facilities. Asbestos wastes from contractors is permitted for disposal at the SWDF under specific conditions and requirements set out in Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) regulations.


The landfill operates on the depression landfill method where waste is disposed of over ground and follows the topography of the site. The landfill has no liner or leachate collection and treatment system. The storage area for household hazardous waste is lined and surrounded by berms to provided
containment in the event of a spill or leakage from waste containers.

On the 9th of June a public meeting was held to address the concerns of Town residents on the
implementation of the Solid Waste Management By-Law as drafted and approved through a second reading.


Town staff, in consideration of the issues raised by one resident and the collection contractor
have revisited the By-Law to amend appropriate sections in order to address their concerns.


Staff have also prepared a Summary Table that identifies all of the issues raised and
suggested measures that the Town can undertake in implementing the By-Law.


Of the specific concerns raised they can be considered as either;
(1) Requiring an amendment to the By-Law;
(2) A matter that can be addressed through the discretion Town staff apply in enforcing the
By-Law: and

(3) Requires political consideration ( Imposing fees )
Staff have amended the By-Law to address a number of issues raised by the Town collection
contractor, namely ;
Definitions Section

  • “Truck Load” means a quantity of waste that can be transported in a regular pick-up truck.
    A pick-up truck’s box length not exceeding 8 feet (2.4 metres);
    Waste Transport Section
  • “Any vehicle operator shall segregate special waste(s) within truck load for identification
    and proper storage or disposal at the Solid Waste Disposal Facility. “
    ( note : this would not apply to the Town’s waste collection contractor )
    Fines Section
  • “ Hazardous waste fines assessed to be determined upon the severity and volume of
    waste. The determination of the fine amount will be established by a licensed and
    qualified engineer.”
    It is the recommendation of Town staff that the amended By-Law be passed in the interests of ;
  • Establishing the waste management facility operating standards and practices needed to
    meet the compliance requirements detailed in the Sahtu Land and Water Board licence.
  • Implementation of a “ User Pay “ principle that reflects the volume of use that a
    resident or businesses has of the Town’s waste management facility.
  • Establish the financing program needed to address and minimize the environmental
    restoration and liability associated with operating the landfill facility and it’s future
    replacement.