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GFL’s Brighton soil facility lets the dogs out

Brighton Dog Park

Thanks to a community engagement project, a piece of unused land at GFL’s soil facility in Brighton, Ontario, has gone to the dogs!

Working with the Town of Brighton and the local community, the Brighton facility created a public dog park. After receiving over 100 entries, the Town’s name selection working group chose Brighton Bark Park as its official name.

“I’ve got to give credit to Grimaud Montignon, Brighton’s regional manager, for spearheading the park,” said Ryan Moniz, director of business development for GFL’s Soils Division. “We had an open space of unused land and we worked with the Town to figure out how we could give back to the community and provide something useful, and that’s how the dog park idea came up.”

The 200ft by 100ft off-leash park features a green space with a fenced-in area for large dogs and one for small dogs. The Bark Park is managed by the Parks and Recreation Department of the Town of Brighton and is open for pooches and their owners seven days a week from dawn to dusk.

The Brighton Soil Facility is one of GFL’s seven Ontario soil facilities with the capacity to manage over 405,000 metric tons of soil a year. Soil is captured from a 150km to 200km area from Peterborough in the north to Kingston in the east and Oshawa in the west. Brighton itself is 40km north of Lake Ontario.

The soil Brighton manages comes from a variety of sources, including construction projects where soil has been removed to create underground parking in condominium buildings. Brownfields, which are contaminated commercial or industrial sites, also provide soil for remediation, such as former gas station sites where soil has been contaminated when underground fuel storage tanks leak gasoline.

“People don’t realize that soil is part of the waste stream, but we can beneficially recycle soil and find secondary uses for it, like helping to rehabilitate pits and quarries to create parks and green spaces, and build golf courses,” Moniz said.

GFL manages three types of soil: clean soil from projects that can be beneficially reused somewhere else, contaminated soil that can be recycled and reused, and contaminated soil that is sent to landfill because it can’t be recycled.

For contaminated soil that can be recycled, GFL uses an environmentally-friendly method called ex-situ bioremediation.

Moniz compared the recycling of soil to the recycling of garbage.

“Soil is part of the waste stream, so it’s a similar parallel to garbage, some can be recycled and some goes to landfill,” Moniz said. “There are secondary uses for a lot of soil rather than just throwing it away in a landfill, and that’s what we do at GFL – find beneficial ways to repurpose it.”

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