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City wants regional compost facility

The city wants to start a public-private partnership to develop a regional composting facility.

Campbell River has issued a request for proposals with the hope of building the facility next to the Norm Wood Environmental Centre sewage treatment plant located in the north end of the city.

“The city is working with the Comox Strathcona Waste Management to explore the option of the facility processing organic wastes from communities throughout the region,” said Coun. Mary Storry, who holds the council portfolio for public works. “All of the major communities…have expressed interest in curbside organics collection and in order to make this a reality, the region requires a facility to process organics.”

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management Board is currently undertaking a small scale organics collection and processing pilot with the Village of Cumberland and Town of Comox, and a long-term solution for organics is needed.

“The city issued a request for expressions of interest for an organics facility last year, and we had strong interest from private industry proponents, which has led us to issuing the RFP,” said Storry.

The request for proposals is for a privately constructed, financed and operated facility that would process sewage biosolids, yardwaste, household and commercial organic waste.

The city, as a partner, would provided suitably zoned land and an initial capital investment of up to $1 million to the successful proponent if the facility is developed at the city site located adjacent to the Norm Wood Environmental Centre.

This funding would be used to offset the costs of site preparation and utility servicing, surface water infrastructure, roadways and outdoor working pads, and allow the successful proponent to install state-of-the-art odour controls. At the end of the partnership, ownership of the entire facility will revert back to the city.

Alternative locations within the city will also be considered, provided that the sites have the correct zoning and regulatory approvals.

Typically, about 35 per cent of a community’s waste can be diverted from the landfill through curbside residential composting programs alone.

Development of a regional-scaled compost facility in Campbell River would provide a variety of opportunities for the City, including:

  • Opportunity for significant waste diversion and an enhanced service for residents.
  • Beneficial reuse of what is currently disposed of as waste.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with disposal of organic materials at landfills.
  • Increased trucking efficiency (trucks can haul other waste on their return route).
  • Opportunity for sewage biosolids composting (reducing land and plant upgrade requirements and related costs)
  • Local job opportunities related to organics processing.
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