Solid waste plan fails

With the WTE option we still have high GHG emissions

In the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan newsletter, the stated goals are:

Reduce the amount of garbage going to our landfills by 70 per cent.

Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste.

Minimize the impact of landfills on the environment and surrounding communities.

AECOM estimates our current regional waste at approximately 64,000 tonnes. A 30 per cent diversion of compost would reduce it to 45,000 tonnes a year. The ash waste produced from a large Waste To Energy (WTE) facility would amount to significantly more in volume of waste to our landfill than the garbage generated by our region.

Composting will divert almost all of GHG emissions from landfill. With the WTE option we still have high GHG emissions.

A WTE facility produces VOC’s, dioxin and furan air emissions and tonnes of arsenic, half in hazardous fly ash and half in bottom ash. (3.7 tonnes of arsenic were produced in Metro Vancouver’s WTE facility in 2009).

The Ministry of Environment requires the WTE option to be in our solid waste plan and specifies that the region must have a minimum target of 70 per cent reduction of waste before opting for a WTE facility. We are now at 48 per cent reduction. As a large WTE company would need our garbage as well as out of regions garbage, the WTE option should not be in our plan as an open invitation to mass burning other regions garbage. Conclusion: The WTE option is not eligible for inclusion in the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Management Plan as it does not meet the Plan goals.

Leona Adams

President, Campbell River Environmental Committee