A fire at the City of Yorkton landfill site Monday that caused some city residents concern, was a controlled burn of the clean wood pile.
Michael Buchholzer, the City’s director of environmental services, explained that under provincial regulations the City is allowed to burn clean, non-painted and non-treated wood and bushes provided the Ministry of the Environment and local fire department are notified a week in advance among other conditions.
The fire also raised rumours there had been several compost fires at the landfill over the summer. Buchholzer dispelled those rumours saying that while the relatively new compost program has its challenges, it is being handled appropriately.
“We’re experimenting a little bit,” he said. “There is a bit of smouldering sometimes, but it’s nothing we can’t control.”
Large compost piles have been known to spontaneously combust, but that is easily mitigating by monitoring the internal temperature and turning the material regularly.
Buchholzer did say there was one major fire during Free Landfill Week in May, which has the City rethinking how they handle that annual event.