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Dump slated for closure in 2013

The closure of the Campbell River dump is expected to begin next year.

Tom Boatman, the manager of the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Management Service, presented the region’s new solid waste plan –which was approved by the solid waste board in September – to city council Tuesday night and explained the landfill closure process, which could take up to five years.

“We will close the landfill, it looks like at this point, at the start of the construction season in 2013 but we still have the transfer station,” Boatman said.

That means people will still be able to dispose of their waste at the dump and it will be trucked to the landfill in Cumberland.

Boatman said the local dump on Argonaut Road is nearly full and the short term plan is to partially close it down while operating one regional landfill in Cumberland which has roughly four to five years of life remaining.

During the Campbell River shutdown, a gas extraction will be installed and the storm water management system and leachate plan will be improved.

In a separate area of the landfill, construction will also begin on an earthern mechanical stabilization wall at the steep slope along Argonaut Road.

That will allow the dump to re-open for potentially another five years, which will give Solid Waste Management time to build a new, bigger regional facility.

“That wall is about 60 per cent completed in the design process and we feel really good about it...because right now (the landfill) is practically full,” Boatman said. “That will give us enough time to develop our next solid waste facility. We need at least five years to build that facility. With the Campbell River extension and the Comox Valley life left, it will give us enough time to complete our operation.”

The region’s new Solid Waste Plan, which dictates that the Comox Strathcona region will be served by one landfill – in Cumberland – follows the cheapest option at just more than $175 million over 30 years.

The cost to taxpayers is expected to be $41 per year. Expanding just the Campbell River dump would have cost almost $190 million over the same time frame while expanding both facilities would have been more than $185 million.

Boatman attended Tuesday’s council meeting looking for a letter of support in principle for the Solid Waste Management to the B.C. Ministry of Environment. The plan is expected to be submitted before the end of this year.

Council in the end did vote in favour of supporting the plan in principle and sending a letter of support, with councillors Andy Adams and Ron Kerr opposed. Samson was concerned council did not have enough time to look at the report while Adams said he couldn’t support the wording in the plan and would have preferred stronger language stressing jobs would remain in Campbell River, through either a recycling depot or regional yard waste drop-off centre.

“There are significant financial resources and jobs that would be outside of our community and going from our community,” Adams said.

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