Foothills landfill has remained rat-free

Alberta: Huge rodent-nest killed in publicized battle in Medicine Hat

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 12:38 pm

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A Medicine Hat landfill has been infested with rats for the past few months, but the foothills waste facility has remained rat-free.

“Ever since we heard about the Medicine Hat situation we have had our employees keep an eye out for them,” said John Deagle, manager of the Foothills Regional Landfill south of Okotoks. “However, we haven’t had any evidence (of rats) this far north or west of Saskatchewan. We are keeping vigil and looking for any signs of them but so far, we haven’t had any evidence of rats.”

A large Norway rat nest was destroyed at the Medicine Hat landfill site last week ending a highly publicized battle with the rodents in the Gas City since early August. Alberta has claimed to be “rat-free” in the past. Deagle said he is confident the foothills landfill is free of rats.

“We have told our employees to be out on lookout especially at dusk (when) the first guys are in to work,” Deagle said.

“We have been doing a lot of grinding at the woodpiles and I imagine they would be there making a nest, but there is no evidence.

“We do see the odd skunk now and then though.”

He said in his 25 years of landfill experience in Alberta, he has never seen a rat.

“The only time I ever saw a rat was in Europe,” Deagle said.

He said the daily burial of waste would make it difficult for rats to survive in the Foothills landfill.

“As we bury our waste I don’t think they could stand it very long because they would be suffocating if there were any gases given off,” Deagle said. “We are pretty diligent about covering our waste.”

He added the proximity of the Medicine Hat landfill to Saskatchewan would make it more prone to rat-infestations than in the MD of Foothills and facilities in surrounding communities.

“The City of Calgary has volumes 10 times larger than we have and they have reported no problems,” Deagle said.

“We just had a meeting with the municipal landfill owners around and no one brought up the subject of seeing rats.”

He said if the landfill did see any evidence of rats, it would immediately notify provincial authorities.


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