Directors skeptical on location of possible garbage incinerator

NANAIMO – Is Vancouver Island going to play host to a garbage incineration facility for the Lower Mainland?

Is Vancouver Island going to play host to a garbage incineration facility for the Lower Mainland?

Directors for the Regional District of Nanaimo believe that’s unlikely, but the possibility exists.

The comments came during discussion at the board’s committee of the whole meeting earlier this month in response to a report by solid waste manager Dennis Trudeau about potential site identification for a facility to incinerate Metro Vancouver waste and turn it into energy.

Trudeau said Metro Vancouver is looking to shortlist locations for a facility to process 700,000 tons of waste that need to be managed.

“They’re looking at an energy facility to manage that,” Trudeau said, noting he convened a conference call with other regional districts on the Island to discuss the issue.

“We decided to wait to see what Metro Vancouver is doing,” he said. “If the facility was located on the Lower Mainland, that would be one thing, but if something was located on Vancouver Island, that would be more of a concern.”

Trudeau said the result of the conference call was a recommendation to Vancouver Island regional districts to call for a detailed consultation process if there is a proposal that involves siting a Waste-To-Energy (WTE) facility on Vancouver Island.

In his report, Trudeau noted that a 2009 study commissioned by the Capital Regional District, indicated that the CRD, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Regional District of Nanaimo would require “at least three times more waste, or 600,000 tonnes per year would be needed to make a WTE facility viable on the Island.

“The study noted that there were possible Island-based WTE facilities under consideration to address possible WTE options for Metro Vancouver. In particular, one such facility was proposed to be located in Gold River, which could be cost competitive with current landfill practices in the RDN due to its large capacity.”

The Ministry of Environment, Trudeau continued, had indicated to Metro Vancouver that they are to consider the full range of possible options – both in and out of the region – in an equal and fair manner.

The timeline proposed would see commissioning of a plant for Metro Vancouver’s waste in 2018. Currently, residual solid waste is incinerated at a facility in Burnaby.

Commenting on the report, Pleasant Valley director Maureen Young questioned whether the request went to all regional districts in the province or just those on Vancouver Island. To this, Trudeau had no knowledge beyond that the request had gone to all districts on the Island.

Alec McPherson, the director for Cedar, expressed concern about the possibility of a private company allowing such a facility on their private land, but Trudeau stressed any such project would still be subject to permitting and zoning regulations.

“They would need appropriate permits for air discharge and any residuals that needed to be discharged, water or solid waste,” he said. “On the zoning side they would need appropriate zoning.”

That didn’t mollify McPherson.

“I get concerned when these things come up,” he said, noting he lives only a short distance away from one potential site at Duke Point.

“I become very concerned when they are within 28 kilometres from where I live.”

City of Parksville director Marc Lefebvre was more blunt.

“When I look at the reaction to people on Vancouver Island to coal mines and smart metres, I wonder if we should be dealing with the issue of this type of operation on Vancouver Island in terms of acceptability,” Lefebvre said. “This might be a non-starter from the get-go.”

Just Posted

Gabriola singer-songwriter Sarah Osborne, Cowichan Valley duo Heartwood, Vancouver singer Kelly Haigh and Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo (clockwise from top-left) are among the performers in this year’s Cultivate Festival. (Photos submitted)
Gabriola Arts Council presents COVID-conscious Cultivate Festival

Theatre, music and art festival returns to Gabriola Island after 2020 hiatus

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes are off to a fast start this season after no competition last season due to the pandemic. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo athletes back on track, starting with club competitions

Nanaimo Track and Field Club registration filled up

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Most Read