With Victoria city council set to discuss a motion about increasing dumping fees at the Hartland Landfill for international cruise ships, there is also talk of expanding the landfill from the Capital Regional District (CRD).

According to the CRD, without any changes, the Hartland Landfill will reach capacity in 25 years – by 2045.

“Currently, over 140,000 tonnes of garbage end up at Hartland every year,” reads a recent CRD solid waste management plan report.

“This is the equivalent to 92 Olympic swimming pools full of waste annually,” the report states. “If we continue to dispose of garbage at this rate, the landfill would be full by 2045.”

With concerns of the landfill reaching capacity arising, the CRD is currently developing a new solid waste management plan with hopes of reducing solid waste destined for the landfill by a third over the next decade.

Those efforts, according to the CRD, could add 55 years to Hartland's life span, making it usable until 2100.

However, the CRD notes that even with focused recycling and redistribution efforts, expansion to the landfill will need to be performed eventually. 

That expansion, according to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, could negatively impact outdoor recreation and the environment in the area.

"There is talk of needing to potentially expand Hartland Landfill and that would take away recreation areas that are currently used by mountain bikers, and ecosystems biodiversity,” Helps told CFAX 1070. 

“So I think we do need to look very carefully at, ‘can we live within our existing footprint not needing to expand?’"

The CRD says that while the loss of recreational land in the area would be unfortunate, the region will try its best to work with the community about possible trail changes when they become necessary.

“The Mount Work–Hartland area is popular with mountain bikers,” said the CRD. “Most of the trails are in Mount Work Regional Park, however a portion of trails currently cross the Hartland Landfill property, with the understanding that the land would eventually become necessary for future landfill activities.”

“The CRD is committed to working with the mountain biking community to develop alternate trails,” reads the solid waste management plan report. 

More information on the CRD's proposals for the Hartland Landfill can be found online here.