Jan 26/08: Metro Vancouver Turns It's Eyes To Delta Landfill ...
More garbage is headed to the Vancouver Landfill in Burns Bog in
the coming years.
The Metro Vancouver board approved a recommendation yesterday that the
Delta landfill, in addition to one in Washington state, become the
primary regional disposal sites.
The plan was prompted after the regional district finally gave up
trying to develop a landfill on a ranch it owned in Ashcroft. Natives
in that area resisted the Metro Vancouver plan that had been in the
works for over a decade.
With the regional district's other main landfill in Cache Creek about
to reach capacity by 2010, it left the district scrambling to find an
alternate site to get rid of all the trash. Cache Creek handles
500,000 tonnes per year, which works out to about one-third of Metro
Vancouver's total waste.
The new plan would see the landfill in Delta take on additional
garbage between 2010 and 2015. By 2015, the extra trash would be
diverted to new incinerators.
Fred Nenninger, Metro Vancouver's regional utility planning manager,
said currently there's only one Lower Mainland incinerator, which is
located in Burnaby. It has the double benefit of not only burning
garbage but also producing electricity for 15,000 homes.
He noted once the additional waste-to-energy facilities are built, it
would result in less garbage heading to the Vancouver Landfill.
"The only interim solution without an interior landfill is having a
discussion with Metro Vancouver, the City of Vancouver, Delta and the
Ministry of Environment with regards to potentially increasing the
tonnages into the Vancouver Landfill at Burns Bog for those few
years," he explained.
Nenninger added one or two larger waste-to-energy centralized
facilities could be built or as many as five smaller plants.
In 1999, a deal between Delta and the City of Vancouver, which
operates the Vancouver Landfill, saw an unused 200-hectare (500-acre)
parcel of land north of the main landfill promised to Delta, in
exchange for Vancouver being allowed to fill even higher on the
existing footprint. The higher levels enabled the landfill to operate
for another 40 years.
Mayor Lois Jackson, chair of the Metro Vancouver board, stressed the
1999 deal won't be broken. She said the amount of garbage may come
sooner but the landfill, overall, won't get more than what's set out
in the original agreement.
Jackson said the regional district, which is already reducing the
amount of garbage through its Zero Waste Challenge, recognized that
finding a new landfill is an outdated way of thinking.
"In the long run, we hope to get out of the landfilling business and
get into new scientific-proven technology which will accomplish what
we need as a society, which is reducing all our garbage down to as
little as possible."
Jackson said Metro Vancouver officials have toured other types of
waste-to-energy facilities in Japan and will visit others.
Saying she's concerned about air emissions, Coun. Jeannie Kanakos was
critical of Jackson's support for the landfill plan.
"I disagree with this approach," said Kanakos. "At a minimum the issue
should have come before council for consideration and we should be
talking to the people of Delta."
Coun. Vicki Huntington said she's concerned the pristine northern
parcel that should have been transferred to Delta is still in Metro
Vancouver's hands. She said she wants assurances the temporary dumping
of extra garage at the landfill won't result in that parcel being used
as a dumping ground.
"If they think they're going to expand that (landfill) agreement into
additional property, then it'll be over my dead body," Huntington
Burns Bog Conservation Society president Eliza Olson isn't pleased to
hear about Metro Vancouver's plan, saying the district should try to
close the Vancouver Landfill sooner rather than later. She noted the
bog is at risk by being next to a landfill, which should be located in
hotter, drier places.