Sealed Landfill Leaking 'Orange Goo' Into Residential Area

Oshawa, Ontario residents have noticed a suspicious substance leaking into their community. Development next to the former landfill almost didn't happen because city planners worried about this very possibility.

"Sarah Ross likes to walk her dog near Harmony Valley Park, but lately the Oshawa resident has been more cautious, after noticing an unusual rust-coloured substance staining the ground.

The liquid is oozing from the side of a seemingly inconspicuous hill, which is actually a decommissioned landfill site.

"I'm really concerned about what it is and whether any monitoring is going on," said Ms. Ross, a master's student in environmental studies. "A lot of people probably don't even realize there's a landfill there because it just looks like a hill. They're walking their dogs in the area and they should know whether there are any risks."

Brent Frew, who recently moved into the nearby neighbourhood, is also concerned.

"It looks like orange goo; it's kind of disgusting," he said. "It's the kind of thing that makes you wonder if it's OK for you to walk around there with your kids."

The landfill sits near the corner of Harmony Road North and Rossland Road East, with Harmony Valley Park on one side and a large residential subdivision on the other.

The site was formerly owned by Industrial Disposal Oshawa Limited (IDOL), and operated as a landfill from 1957 to 1980, when it was sealed."

Full Story: ‘Orange goo’ trickling from old landfill



The investigation continues!

My name is Sarah and I am the concerned resident that brought this issue to the attention of the local paper in order to help find some answers. After much frustration with employees of the City and MOE, I decided contacting the paper would be a good way to get this issue out - which I am happy to say it has. I am continuing to investigate. If you would like to follow this issue, you may visit my blog at or e-mail me at

My comments, which will appear in a letter to the editor of the local paper later this week, are below:

In addition to the rust colour, in April I also noticed an oily sheen on the surface of the leachate. Given that industrial products were buried here, I am concerned about the possible presence of other toxic compounds (phenols, heavy metals). Monitoring is apparently taking place by developers on a 5-year basis on the west side of the landfill. This seems to be the only monitoring that is being done. But, from an environmental perspective, that area is not the concern – drainage and the visible leaching is to the south and east towards Harmony Creek. I was informed that there was limited monitoring in this area until the early 1990’s – this is not ‘periodical’. As indicated by Professor Warith (Oshawa This Week on-line article May 30), leaching rates are highly variable depending on the season, rainfall, etc – also, over time they can increase. This suggests to me that citizens require the results from a systematic and targeted monitoring program before we can be assured that there are no concerns from this site.

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