Everyone seems to have an opinion on the ongoing Saint Lawrence sewage dump debacle, and we all should because it's a pretty gross solution to a garbage disposal issue, but what should really be worrying Montrealers isn't the waste in the water.
Rather, we should all be concerned with the garbage right beneath our homes. Literally, because you might be living above an old garbage dump that could be hazardous to your health.
Across the Island of Montreal, there are a total of 62 now-defunct garbage dumps that have been paved over and built on, according to an investigation by CBC/Radio-Canada. With information gleaned straight from the City of Montreal, many of these former waste disposal sites are now beneath city parks, homes, and apartments.
Unfortunately for us citizens, however, is that the City of Montreal's information is incomplete; only 24 of the former waste disposal sites are confirmed, with the other 38 being "possible landfills and dumps." Regardless, the number of lots with garbage dumps beneath them is pretty worrying, especially since there are more in the Downtown/Plateau area than you'd think.
Somehow, potentially living above an old garbage dump is even more unsettling than actually residing above one. That whole fear of the not-quite-known is real.
Out of all the confirmed and potential former garbage dumps, around half are below residential areas, with homes, apartments, and condos built on top, with the rest underneath parks and city-owned land.
But why would developers knowingly build on land that could be contaminated by mass amounts of waste? The short answer is they never really knew. Information of this nature isn't available to the general public.
The small sliver of silver lining to this new garbage issue in Montreal is that the CBC's study has prompted the City of Montreal to get on the case and create an official map of defunct garbage dumps, according to Montreal's executive committee member in charge of the city's environment.
Tests to find out if any of the areas built above garbage dumps are contaminated will also be enacted, according to Montreal officials. Here's hoping your home wasn't constructed on garbage dump land. Still beats an ancient burial ground though, because ghosts.
To see the map that'll tell you if you live above (or possibly live above) a garbage dump, head over to the CBC article here.