Pierrefonds landfill site will close but residents wonder if putrid smell will end

The closure of a dry material landfill in Pierrefonds-Roxboro is underway and should be completed by 2021 but some residents are worried it won’t get rid of the stench in the area.

The closure of the quarry, which holds construction and demolition materials, began in August before it was put on hold.

Matrec, the company responsible for closing the site, said it was waiting for approval to install additional bio-gas capturing equipment from Quebec’s Environment Ministry before moving ahead.

Work resumed in September.

In 2007, a network of bio-gas capturing pipes and wells was installed on the site. However, it was later deemed insufficient for the volume of gases emitted by the decomposing materials.

As a result, a putrid smell fills the air of the surrounding area as gases that have an odor similar to rotten eggs escape the landfill. Residents like Aida Simon said she can’t bear the smell any longer.

“We love Pierrefonds but the situation with the smell we cannot support. It’s really bad,” Simon said.

The smell has intensified over the past eight years, she added.

“It’s really bad. It’s toxic. We are going to get sick,” Simon said.

The borough and Matrec say the landfill site will be completely covered with multiple layers of sand and gravel atop of the decomposing materials.

The installation of 35 new vertical wells along with a second gas burner is also underway. It will capture the gas and then burn it, which will reduce the smell.

Once the site is covered, a geo-membrane layer will be placed over the covered land to prevent contaminated rainwater from escaping the quarry.

This process will be repeated a second time, Matrec officials told Global News.

Residents like Paola Casale say it took far too long. She hopes this new system will help alleviate the stench on her street, but she said it needs to be fixed.

“They have to solve it because it’s bad. I don’t know how people go for walks outside,” Casale said.

The borough confirms the closure of the site will be completed with in an 18-month period, which is ahead of the agreed 2022 deadline.

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