While driving around Toronto, or on the 401, take note of all the dump trucks you see. Odds are, most of these dump trucks are carrying excess soils from major infrastructure projects or condo developments. With approximately 15 million cubic meters of soil being excavated in the GTA alone, we should see almost 1 million dump trucks hauling excess soils on the roads. In most instances, these soils are clean, treated as a resource, and used for rehabilitation of sites in need of clean fill outside of Toronto.
This is good news. As we remove soil from the GTA, we can help municipalities around us rehabilitate their quarries or use it for their farms – a perfect symbiotic relationship in which we import gravel from pits around us and send our excavated material back to rehabilitate those same pits.
This is the bad news – it is not as simple or as transparent as it may seem and there is no reliable way to ensure that contaminated soils are not included. The volume of soil circulating around the province is managed by a manual paper system which makes it nearly impossible to keep track of its source or where it is disposed. Further, this manual system also facilitates the improper disposal of contaminated soils. In some cases, contaminated soil vanishes and is lost forever. Other times, the contaminated soil is discovered and these events make it to the cover of the local papers.
In 2012, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) put in place a Best Management Practices (BMP) and Excess Soil Management Policy Framework. The BMPs were an attempt by the ministry to enable project owners and contractors to better manage their soil without the need of regulation. Unfortunately, not everyone heeded this call, so the MOECC is now in the process of instituting regulation which will require a formalized tracking system for soils.
MetaFLO Technologies has been at the centre of the excess soils conversation in Ontario since its inception. We have heard the concerns of project owners, contractors, MetaFLO operators and disposal sites about their ability to comply with the new excess soils regulation and the cost of that compliance. That is why we developed SoilFLO, an automated, cost-effective soil tracking software tool that ensures compliance with these new regulations.
If you are a project owner generating excess soils, a contractor or disposal site, MetaFLO would be pleased to discuss your soil tracking challenges and show you how SoilFLO will ensure you remain in compliance, streamline your process and save valuable time. Please contact Kevin Goldberg – Product Manager, SoilFLO, firstname.lastname@example.org, P: 416-904-1180.