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Creating a landfill park – not a dump

Posted on May 18, 2021 by Maple Creek
Lynn Needham attaches a birdhouse to the fencing at the Maple Creek landfill. PHOTO BY MARCUS DAY

Maple Creek Landfill, three words that once conjured images of unmonitored dumping, scattered debris, overgrown foliage and unkempt grass. Now the site sports a clean, wholesome look, with trimmed trees and bright flowers. As users will testify, it also boasts systems for reuse, recycling and proper waste disposal.
Lynn Needham’s efforts at the Maple Creek Landfill were recognized in May 2016 at the 21st annual Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Awards ceremony in Saskatoon.
He was credited with transforming the landfill since becoming the Town’s manager of environmental services, increasing its life expectancy from 10 years to 65.
Needham was praised for working with Town Council by championing:
• Single stream recycling for residential and commercial, reducing landfill waste by 52%;
• The introduction of landfill tipping fees to encourage users to more closely consider alternative options;
• Rigorous inspections of private vehicles at the landfill gate, redirecting residents to divert recyclable materials;
• Salvaging quality reusable household items;
• Enforcing stricter requirements on the sorting of demolition debris;
• Educating children on the importance of waste reduction and recycling.  An example of this is the birdhouse project; and
• Mulching & composting garden waste, creating compost for local gardeners.
Needham’s work was also spotlighted by Southwest TV News in October 2017 after Maple Creek received a 5 Blooms-Bronze rating and a special mention for its innovative landfill site in the Communities in Bloom contest.
In an interview, Needham said: “It’s a green space that the Town owns and that’s what we are trying to make it into, something that is aesthetically appealing. As opposed to a dump, we are creating a landfill park.”

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