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City recycles mattress springs to save landfill space

Posted on 15 February 2022 by Matthew Liebenberg

The City of Swift Current has started a new project to reduce the amount of space taken up by old mattresses in the landfill.

City Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Tim Marcus provided details about this recycling initiative during a regular council meeting, Feb. 7.

Old mattresses take up a significant amount of air space at the City landfill, but this can be reduced by removing the mattress springs.

“The springs are pulled with a mini excavator, and the steel is hauled to Diamond Steel and recycled,” he explained. “The stuffing that’s left over goes into the landfill, significantly reducing the landfill space that it takes up.”

The City has processed about 300 mattresses during the trial phase of the project and there were clear benefits from recycling the springs.

“A mattress, when it’s not processed, consumes about $40 worth of air space in the landfill,” he noted. “With this trial, and we think with some increased efficiency, we can project to get the cost down to about $20 a mattress. So there is a cost savings there.”

He added that the current cost of removing the springs can be reduced even more, which will make the saving higher than during the initial trial phase.

“The trial was a little bit higher,” he said. “It was around $23 a mattress, but we think we can get it just under $20. … If we get it under $20, we’re saving $20 a mattress in air space.”

This project was initiated as a result of research done by Keegan Story, the City’s superintendent of solid waste and diversion. He discovered that the removal and recycling of mattress springs are also done elsewhere.

Marcus noted the City receives on average about 70 mattresses a month at the landfill, which can amount to as much as 850 mattresses a year taking up landfill space. The City therefore plans to continue this project.

“We’ve seen a substantial amount of mattresses at the landfill and the cost of disposing of them versus the air space they take up is a significant saving,” he said. “So we intend to continue to pull the springs out and recycle the metal part.”

Council approves subdivision of land:

Council members approved a subdivision application to create nine residential lots during the regular council meeting, Feb. 7.

The request to subdivide the approximately 3.8 acres (1.5 hectares) of land was submitted by J & P Bardahl Investments Ltd. It is located along Adams Street near the Cypress Regional Hospital. The size of the subdivided lots will vary from 0.32 to 0.61 acres.

Swift Current Mayor Al Bridal said during a media briefing after the council meeting the nine lots will provide an option for people looking for a larger size residential lot within the city.

“I’m happy to see some potential development and as a builder I’m kind of excited, because there are lots of people that have built on acreages because they can’t get a big enough garage in Swift Current,” he said. “And these lots will allow them a nice three, four, even a five-car garage attached to their house there. So they went to acreages because there’s nothing like that available and now these will be available. So I’m pretty excited.”

The City has been contracted to do the water and sewer connections to the nine lots this spring and these lots will be available for development after other shallow services have also been installed. Bridal felt positive about the long-term benefits of having these residential lots in Swift Current.

“We’re going to get paid for putting in the sewer and water, and then as they develop lots, we’ll eventually get the taxes off the new homes that get build there,” he said.

City General Manager of Planning and Development Marty Salberg referred during the council meeting to the various municipal and provincial requirements for the development of this land, which was identified to be within a flood hazard area. The lots have been raised to an elevation that meets or exceeds the 1:500 year estimated peak water level for this area.

“The lot development plans submitted as part of the application also designate the minimum grading and building elevations required to maintain the area outside the limits of the flood hazard area,” he said. “These plans also establish the servicing requirements and driveway locations for each lot. All future development and building permits will be required to adhere to these development plans.”

Council approves appointment of new City solicitor:

Council members approved the appointment of a new City solicitor at the regular council meeting, Feb. 7.

The City had to find a new solicitor after the retirement of Murray Walter, who provided legal services to the City for 41 years.

City CAO Tim Marcus said administration considered proposals from candidates within local law firms and recommended the appointment of Logan Spearing from MacBean Tessem law firm.

“MacBean Tessem’s submission provided a similar rate, arrangement and qualifying accommodation as the previous City solicitor, which worked extremely well for many years,” Marcus noted.

The duties of the City solicitor are to provide legal, strategic and business advice to City council and senior administration. The City solicitor must be able to draft a wide variety of legal documents and the individual is required to have knowledge of provincial and federal statutes and regulations, municipal bylaws, and general legal principles. The person must have the skill to interpret and apply legislation to ensure statutory compliance and liability protection.

Spearing was raised in Swift Current and he attended the University of Saskatchewan, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in political studies and international development. He then entered the College of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor in 2013.

He began working at MacBean Tessem as a summer student in 2011 and 2012. He was an articling student at the law firm in 2013 and he became an associate after completing his articles in 2014. He became a partner in the law firm in 2015. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Southwest Bar Association, and the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association.

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