COVID-19 Operating Status
The Francis Cooke Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre remains open during normal hours (below) to serve the waste management needs of the Bow Valley. Our operating status may change at any time. Please call 403-673-2708 or revisit this page regularly for updates on our operating status.
In the interest of minimizing health risks to our staff and the community, keep a safe distance from others on our site at all times. Please be familiar with our user’s handbook so you can organize your loads in advance and minimize handling by our staff.
We ask that you, and your staff, continue to stay vigilant to the ongoing threat and assist our staff by:
- Ensuring that drivers do not enter the Francis Cooke site if they are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms,
- Respecting the 2 metre personal distance guidelines between drivers and staff, or other site users, at all times when visiting the Francis Cooke site,
- Identifying at the scale (403-673-2708) any waste materials destined for our facility which are suspected of having been exposed to COVID-19 e.g. material from clean up of hotel rooms or other accommodation.
If you are working on a job which could generate material with any suspected risk of COVID-19 exposure, we ask that you contact us with detail prior to hauling to the Francis Cooke landfill site.
Francis Cooke Facility Guide
Our customers play an important role in BVWMC being a leader in waste diversion and resource recovery. The Francis Cooke Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre serves as a recycling drop off for 15 different materials. Our on-site processing turns this material into value-added products made from wood, metal, drywall, asphalt, concrete, yard and garden materials and much more. Material that must be buried is carefully managed to efficiently use the Bow Valley’s available landfill space.
Your Facility Guide and Handbook
Everything you need to know about using the Francis Cooke Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre is in our User Handbook. Click a topic in the Table of Contents and there you are! Download the Handbook for future reference oreview some essentials provided below.
Upcoming Special Hours
We will be closed on Victoria Day, Monday May 24, 2021. We will be open during normal hours on Saturday May 22, 2021.
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Closed Sundays and statutory holidays.
No new loads accepted after 3:45 p.m.
Customers must tip their loads and be offsite by 4 pm.
Loads requiring extra time must arrive by at least 3:30 pm
You can save money, help us use our landfill space wisely and support easier recovery of reusable materials. Fee discounts are offered for organizing your loads to allow tipping of recoverable resources separately from landfill disposal. You can also avoid surcharges by preventing illegal and unacceptable items from being placed in your bins and containers that are delivered to our facility. A surcharge may be applied if illegal or unacceptable substances or containers are found in tipped loads. Surcharges apply regardless of whether substances have been released from their container.
BVWMC is required by provincial regulation to operate the Francis Cooke facility on a not-for-profit, self-sufficient basis and does not requisition funds from our member municipalities. Our rates recognize that we incur significant costs in responsibly managing the materials placed in our care. These costs include staff wages, maintaining and operating heavy equipment, building construction and maintenance, engineering and environmental management costs, and insurance as well as planning for costs to reclaim and monitor landfilled areas long after they are closed. We also maintain financial reserves for unforeseen expenditures.
Know the Basics
Our User Handbook and Facility Guide will help you learn more about how to use our site and the role you play in maximizing the life of the landfill as well as the steps you can take to keep your costs lower. Here are a just a few important things to know.
Organize your load before you arrive
Before you load a bin or other container with materials you wish to dispose of at the Francis Cooke facility, become familiar with the current rate sheet and our lists of recoverable resources, illegal and unacceptable items.
To save money, keep recoverable resources separate and avoid allowing unacceptable or illegal items to be placed in your waste containers. It costs much less to tip garbage that does not contain easily recoverable resources. Tipping recoverable resources separately in our resource recovery drop-off areas costs much less than dropping loads to be buried as garbage. To avoid unnecessary expenses, bins and other containers should be inspected regularly for proper sorting and for items that should not be placed in them.
The best way to save money and save the Bow Valley’s only landfill space is to use separate containers for different materials and empty these containers at the proper drop-off sites. If it is not feasible to have additional containers on a work site, then cost savings can be realized by placing materials in the same container for transport, but loaded in such a way that easily recoverable resources can be removed separately at each drop off area. Some operators have found that accumulating different materials in heavy bags that can be stacked into a bin for transport and then the bags removed separately at our site is an effective way to avoid higher tipping fees for mixed waste. When operating conditions permit, small amounts of electronics, metal, construction wood and drywall can be hand-sorted from smaller loads and placed into large bins provided at the landfill tipping face.
Tarp and secure your load
Our site’s location adjacent to provincial park lands, and ever-changing wind conditions, make containing litter very important. Please help us keep our property and public roadways clean and safe by ensuring the loads you bring to the facility are properly secured.
BVWMC is required to enforce municipal regulations to control waste material escaping loads. Any loads assessed at the scale as not adequately tarped or secure on entry to the site may be charged additional fees. Tarps may be blanket or mesh but must not have rips or gaps that could allow material to escape. Items weighing over 10 kilograms (20 pounds) must be secured in the vehicle or trailer. Swing doors on waste bins must prevent material escaping from the edges of the doors. Loads of concrete, asphalt, aggregates or other excavated or bulk materials must adhere to provincial transportation legislation and regulations. Loads must remain covered and secure until reaching the assigned tipping area.
Report to the scale
The Francis Cooke facility is a large and complex site and it can be challenging to manage activity. All visitors must report to the scale window when they arrive regardless of the reason for their visit. For security, traffic, site safety or emergency response, we need to know who is on the site and where they are. Our scale staff will also help make your visit safe and efficient while helping you minimize tipping fees.
We are required by law to understand the material you are placing into our care. Please be patient and courteous when staff ask you about what you are bringing to our facility. Our staff are trained and experienced in recognizing dangers that may not be obvious to others. Their questions also allow each load to be properly handled and entered into our records to ensure we can give you advice about how to avoid unnecessary fees. Rude or otherwise unacceptable behaviour is not tolerated and our security system records all incidents.
Respect safety procedures
Our facility is a rugged outdoor environment that presents a variety of hazards. Users are asked to dress accordingly for the rough terrain and often windy weather conditions. Sturdy shoes or work boots are required. Open shoe, sandal, or flip-flop footwear is not allowed. Use work gloves and safety glasses which may be borrowed from our scale office
It is important to remember when you throw something out that you are not the last one to handle it. Improperly disposed chemicals pose a health hazard, not only to the environment, but to the people handling those items.
An empty propane camping cylinder or hazardous substance container may pose no threat to you after you improperly toss it in a bin intended for garbage. But if the residual gas or chemical in the container explodes among staff and users at our site it can be very dangerous. Even a seemingly harmless old fridge can be dangerous if it contains ammonia gas. An improperly disposed small battery can spark a landfill fire deep underground long after it has been buried. These fires can be very expensive to control and produce potentially toxic smoke and groundwater contamination that can be devastating to the ecosystem and local community.
Please review our list of basic rules in advance. Behave in a courteous manner, follow the instructions of our staff and obey all traffic control lights and signs while visiting our site. We may refuse access to the facility if these rules are not being followed.
Landfill rules can be downloaded here.
Responsible scavenging and foraging
All material dropped on our site becomes the property of BVWMC. Due to safety concerns and potential value for recycling, we do not allow materials to be collected on our site. However, we do recognize that things are left in our care that may be seen as useful by our customers. If you see some things you would like to have, please speak to our scale staff to see if arrangements may be made for the articles to be recovered.
Requirements for soil and excavated material
Excavated materials are accepted at the Francis Cooke Class III landfill facility if we can be assured they have not been affected by hydrocarbons, heavy metal or other contaminants. If there is reason to be concerned that the excavated material may contain contaminants, we will need to confirm acceptability. This will require customers to provide lab test results for Class II Landfills Organic Contaminants and Inorganic Contaminants. Because the Francis Cooke is a Class III landfill facility without a liner and is close to the Bow River we may refuse material that shows elevated levels of contamination whether or not they pass the Class II landfill acceptance standards.
Contact us well in advance of delivery if you are planning a project that involves removal of soil or excavated material for disposal at the Francis Cooke facility. Refer to our Users Handbook and disclose any knowledge of potential for the material to be contaminated or provide lab test results if they are available. This disclosure includes any known potential for soil contamination adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, the excavation site.
Return to the scale
All users must report back to the scale window before leaving the site. This allows empty vehicles to be weighed to determine the weight of material left on our site, assess the appropriate charges and issue a scale ticket for the load. It is also important for anyone who enters our site to let us know that they have safely left the site.
Review your scale tickets
We encourage anyone generating waste that is delivered to our site to be sure they receive and review the scale tickets for their waste disposal. The scale ticket serves a receipt for payment. This information can also be used by project managers and accounting teams to track how their waste is being managed and charged. But it is also useful if there are concerns with a load and we wish to offer feedback to a customer or assist them in their waste management practices. Scale may also be useful to document that materials have been disposed according to project permits.
Project managers have the option of asking our scale office to register a specific project in our scale computer for tracking. This allows us to provide summary reports of project-specific information such as costs and diversion rates for all loads tipped at our facility after the project has been completed.
Wind, Weather and Solar Power
It is often very windy at our site compared to elsewhere in the Bow Valley. To help us respect our fence line and protect neighbouring provincial parks all loose litter must be contained in clear plastic bags or other means of containment. Before leaving your job site be sure to contain your loose litter and check our current wind conditions. We reserve the right to refuse loads with uncontained litter when wind conditions exceed 15 kilometres per hour or any time we believe your load will result in fugitive litter.
Loads that release uncontained while tipping will be subject to a surcharge to assist with our costs in managing litter. Be sure to bookmark our current weather display on your device or call the scale office at 403-673-2708 for current wind restrictions. To display our current wind and weather on your smartphone, go to your app store and download the Davis Instruments “Weather Link 2” app, register your account, search for “Francis Cooke” and add our weather station to your display.
Demolition and Renovation Waste
We are now treating renovation and demolition waste as “Unsorted” waste if it contains significant recoverable materials. Please contact us if you are undertaking one of these projects and would like become eligible for the best landfill tipping rates. We will register your project and give you credit for reasonable efforts made over the course of your project to separate and recycle materials such as wood, metal, drywall and asphalt shingles from this challenging waste stream.
Acceptance of Excavated Material
We have revised our procedures for accepting excavated materials. The new acceptance process will affect your project planning and costs through increased requirements for submitting laboratory test results for all material delivered for disposal on our site.
Illegal Materials List
The Francis Cooke Regional Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre is a dry and “Inert Waste Only” waste landfill. Common unacceptable items include household garbage, food, food wrappers or containers, apples or other fruit from yards and gardens, pumpkins, kitchen waste, chemicals and hazardous wastes or liquids. Even lunch wastes from construction sites is prohibited. Before you load your bins and containers, become familiar with our list of unacceptable and illegal items. Avoid surcharges by preventing illegal and unacceptable items from being placed in your bins and containers that are delivered to our facility. A surcharge may be applied if illegal or unacceptable substances or containers are found in tipped loads. Surcharges apply regardless of whether substances have been released from their container.
Recoverable Materials List
We have identified more than 15 useful materials that are expected to be separated from loads of waste delivered for burial at the Francis Cooke facility. Customers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the significantly discounted rates for tipping these materials separately in the resource recovery drop-off areas. Loads of garbage that are composed of more than 10 percent of these materials are not eligible for the sorted load discount.