A request for proposals to build the region’s organics composting facility should be going out this summer, according to Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) staff.
At the most recent meeting of the board, comprised of elected representatives from the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts, senior manager of waste management service Vivian Schau gave an update on progress since a previous report last fall.
The targeted opening is fall 2022. It will be located at the current site of the Campbell River Waste Management Centre. As part of the change, the Strathcona’s region waste will be sent to the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, with the organic compost material from the Comox Valley sent back to Campbell River.
“Since the last update, much has been done to advance this project forward,” Schau said. “We’re well on track for the phased-in collection of organics starting next fall.”
Some of the work happening now, according to Schau’s April 16 report, includes detailed design work by engineering firm Sperling Hansen Associates, as well as development permit applications to the City of Campbell River for the construction of the compost facility and to the Village of Cumberland for a transfer station at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre.
The project will need regulatory approval from the environment ministry, which regulates air quality issues, including odour. The Organic Matter Recycling Regulation of B.C. covers the construction and operation of compost facilities, along with the production, distribution, storage, sale and use of biosolids and compost. The CSWM staff report lists approval as pending.
Finally, the report notes the invitation for the project to go to tender should be issued this summer, following the final approval of Sperling Hansen Associates’ detailed designs.
CSWM staff also updated the board on the public engagement process to date, which has included three virtual sessions using Zoom and 71 participants taking part.
“We had participants from around the region,” said Christianne Wile, manager of external relations.
The staff report outlines a number of positive comments about the project and its potential benefits, though CSWM did receive some concerns, particularly from people in the area near the compost site. These included comments that the road to the site is narrow and may not be safe, that current operation from the landfill and pre-construction work can already be heard and that work could disturb contaminants already in the soil.