The new United Boulevard Recycling and Waste Centre opens to the public today! This full-service waste and recycling facility has a processing capacity of about 600 tonnes per day. The facility will be open 363 days a year, serving about 200,000 customers.
Morrison Hershfield was Prime Consultant for this large centre that sits on a 6.2-hectare brownfield site on the former Coquitlam landfill. This innovative and sustainable facility will play an important role in Metro Vancouver’s efforts to reach its diversion goals and move to a circular economy.
From Brownfield to State-of-the-Art Facility
The sustainable reuse of the former Coquitlam Landfill transformed an underutilized brownfield site into a state-of-the-art waste and recycling facility for the region.
The new transfer station is a steel superstructure the size of nearly four hockey rinks. Itfeatures a remarkable clear span of 71.4 metres (234 ft) X 98.5 metres which provides for operational flexibility and maneuverability. The centre also includes an administration building, two scalehouses, six scales, a recycling attendant booth, and number of green infrastructure elements. The site is expandable and the entire community benefits from a waste and broader environmental perspective.
The site features accessibility improvements and encourages sustainable transportation options. Users benefit from reduced wait times, separate queuing areas for large and small vehicles, easy access to the recycling and waste disposal areas, a large flexible tipping floor for increased convenience and safety and dedicated lanes for residential, commercial and service vehicles.
Innovative Solutions to Achieve Sustainable Results
The United Boulevard Recycling and Waste Centre implemented numerous innovative solutions to achieve sustainable results. Engineering solutions address geotechnical, structural and environmental challenges such as differential settlement, landfill gas hazards, leachate control, and contaminated materials management.
- Underutilized brownfield land was transformed into an asset for the community, with far-reaching environmental benefits.
- Used 40,000 tonnes of incinerator bottom ash as structural fill to construct the ground features, including the sub-base for the new transfer station. This material would otherwise go to waste.
- Re-used excavated material. No material excavated on the site left the site.
- Concrete mat foundation supports the massive transfer building to eliminate potential complications related to penetrating the base of the landfill.
- Prefabricated metal structure with flexible utility connections rests on the slab-on-grade foundation to resist twisting and cracking.
- Landscaping design includes low maintenance native species, and several invasive species found on site were removed.
- Sustainable, active transportation is encouraged by integrating a mixed-use walking/biking path with the site.
- High efficiency and natural lighting. Care was taken to minimize the impact of lighting on fish habitat in the nearby Brunette River.
- Active landfill gas management system.
- Sealed site to control leachate.
- Stormwater management.
- Odour management.
- Noise management.
The innovative, flexible and sustainable United Boulevard Recycling and Waste Centre is one of the most comprehensive solid waste facilities in North America. It offers significantly enhanced recycling opportunities and is anticipated to help Metro Vancouver reach regional recycling goals of 80%. It demonstrates that large structures can be safely and reliably developed on challenging closed landfill sites using advanced structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering solutions.