‘Important step’ taken towards Campbell River compost facility

The facility would be intended to process biosolids as well as organics

The city is moving forward with an organic compost facility to serve the entire region.

The facility would be intended to process biosolids as well as organics generated by households, institutions and businesses across the Comox Strathcona Waste Management service area. Amber Zirnhelt, the city’s sustainability manager, said the proposed facility would be run as a private-public partnership and would help realize the Comox Strathcona Waste Management Service’s key priority of diverting organics from the landfill.

“All of the major communities within the CSWM (Comox Strathcona Waste Management) service areas have expressed interest in curbside organics collection,” Zirnhelt said. “In order to make this a reality, the region requires a facility to process organics.”

Council, at its Aug. 13 meeting, voted unanimously to proceed with issuing a Request for Interest and Qualifications to evaluate respondents who are able and willing to invest in developing and operating an organic management facility in Campbell River.

Coun. Andy Adams noted that the vote was an important step for the city.

“I think the significance of this is we have just passed a motion to look at the possibility of having a regional compost facility right here in Campbell River that would provide services to the Comox Valley and the Strathcona Regional District area,” Adams said.

The city is considering building the compost facility on approximately 10 hectares of available land at the Norm Wood Environmental Centre (near Orange Point Road in North Campbell River) at the former biosolid application site.

Zirnhelt said that development of a regional-scaled compost facility will provide potential local job opportunities related to organics processing as well as an opportunity for significant waste diversion. According to a study done by Maura Walker and Associates consulting group, there is an estimated 11,000 tonnes per year of compostable material generated in the Comox Strathcona Waste Management area.

Approximately 35 per cent of residential household waste, or 1,150 tonnes in Campbell River is compostable organics, and 337 tonnes of biosolids could also be composted each year, Zirnhelt said.