The Comox Valley’s new engineered landfill is located near Cumberland. It opened last fall. File photo by Scott Strasser.

Plenty more waste in Comox Valley and Campbell River landfills could be diverted – audit

AET Group conducted a regional waste composition audit last fall

The Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts still have some work to do when it comes to garbage diversion, according to a recent waste composition audit.

A two-week audit done by environmental consultant AET Group last fall found that potentially 50 per cent of waste disposed at the Comox Valley and Campbell River landfills during the audit could have been diverted under current recycling programs.

AET collected and analyzed 104 samples of waste in the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts, weighing approximately 100 kg each, from Sept. 25 until Oct. 6.

The audit found that thrown-out food was the biggest culprit, accounting for 20.2 per cent of divertable waste.

Paper and packaging accounted for 8.7 per cent, yard waste accounted for 4.7 per cent and plastic packaging accounted for 4.1 per cent.

AET’s report claimed that diverting food and yard waste would increase the Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service’s diversion rates from 47 per cent (the rate in 2016) to 60.1 per cent.

The CSWM’s goal under its 10-year solid waste management plan is to divert 70 per cent of waste from the Comox Valley and Campbell River landfills by 2020.

A statement from the CVRD says the audit results will be used as a tool to assess waste diversion improvement moving forward.

“The audit provides a baseline understanding to allow a focused improvement on specific materials that are currently being landfilled,” reads a portion of the statement.

A new regional composting facility in Campbell River is in the works and expected to be operational by 2020. The $8-million facility is intended to remove organics from the waste stream and help the CSWM meet its 70 per cent diversion rate target.

“This audit provides justification to start an organic diversion program…and will be used to measure performance once it is in place,” reads the CVRD’s statement.

AET recommends the CSWM study its waste composition regularly. Doing so annually would cost the CSWM about $65,000 per year. The CVRD statement said that recommendation will be reviewed through the budget process for future budgets.

“There is no provision for an additional audit on 2018,” it reads. “Staff will review the recommendation and provide the board information to justify additional audits in the future.”

The CVRD cautioned the audit has some limitations and should only “be considered a snapshot” of a short time period.

“One of the limitations of this audit is that the results represent just the characteristics of the waste received at the facilities during the audited two-week period, as waste composition changes over time,” reads part of a staff report. “It should [also] be noted that the yard waste percentages could be inflated at the time of year the audit was undertaken (fall 2017).”

The audit also found that half of the waste being disposed of in the Comox Valley and Campbell River could not be recycled.

Correction: A previous version of this story reported the organics facility in Campbell River will open in 2023. It is actually scheduled to open in 2020.

Just Posted

Helicopter deployed during busy night for Campbell River Search and Rescue

Two incidents in one day ‘not rare’: CRSAR manager

Bylaw enforcement office opens in downtown Campbell River

‘Checkpoint for RCMP’ meant to increase safety

Tossin’ cars around the track at Saratoga Speedway

By Terry Guest A beautiful summer night combined with 60 race cars… Continue reading

Council reps all leave regional district meeting over pending water rate lawsuit

Campbell River and SRD facing litigation from Area D residents over water rate hikes

Marlene Wright will seek to keep her seat on council in upcoming election

‘We got a lot of good things done over the past four years, and even more started’

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

ZONE 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read