Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Metro's incinerators will cost us

One of the things that Metro Vancouver is not talking to us about is the cost of incinerating waste.

The Scenarios for Metro Vancouver are to spend $2.5 billion on a "centralized" system with 3 incinerators, or $3 billion on a "distributed" system (6 facilities required).

The Metro Board has already authorized the first quarter of a billion dollars on "Waste-to-Energy" facilities.

Is this where we want our money spent?
Do we want to spend billions of public dollars to build and maintain machines that will destroy materials that will someday have greater value for recycling?

1 comment:

Journal said...

Landfill approval a positive sign
Published: October 13, 2008 3:00 PM
Updated: October 13, 2008 3:09 PM Black Press

Last week’s news that Highland Valley Copper’s proposed landfill had received its Environmental Assessment certificate didn’t surprise or worry Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta.

“The approval of Highland Valley’s proposal bodes well for approval of the Cache Creek extension,” said Ranta.

What the approval means to Cache Creek, he said, is that Environment Minister Barry Penner is willing to consider approval of a project even through it may have First Nation objections to it.

The Cache Creek Extension project already has the approval of the Bonaparte Indian Band.

The Cache Creek Extension project has already begun the Environmental Assessment (EA) process., and Ranta said Belkorp Industries, Wastech’s parent company, is still fully committed to the project.

Teck Cominco wants to build a $112-million state-of-the-art landfill at its Highland Valley Copper Mine near Logan Lake.

The Highland Valley Centre for Sustainable Waste Management’s 140-hectare site would have a capacity of 55 million tonnes of garbage, or 600,000 tonnes per year – enough to take over for Metro’s near-full Cache Creek regional landfill that closes in 2010.

Penner’s environmental approval came despite opposition from at least one local First Nations group, the Nlaka’pamux Tribal Council.

Similar objections from area First Nations had prompted the province in 2005 to block environmental approval for Metro’s own proposed landfill at its Ashcroft Ranch property.

That obstacle ultimately led Metro’s board, faced with the impending closure at Cache Creek, to decide early this year that new landfills can’t be built fast enough and to instead seek to temporarily export garbage to the U.S. while moving to build as many as six new waste-to-energy plants.

Penner earlier this year directed Metro to reconsider all options, including Interior landfills and a potential waste-fueled energy plant on Vancouver Island.

The speed of Highland Valley’s approval and its success in vaulting aboriginal opposition was “interesting,” according to Metro Vancouver waste management committee chair Marvin Hunt.

“Depending on how fast they can have it up and operating we may be able to make use of that instead of going to the States,” he said. “That’s a possibility that might be looked at.”

But Metro will still proceed next year with a detailed process to explore the potential for waste-fired power plants, he added.

Whether Metro uses the site or not, Hunt said a new regional landfill is needed to serve many other towns in southern B.C. where local landfills are nearing capacity.

Penner said area First Nations expressed “a variety of views” but the project was backed by bands closest to the mine site as well as the community of Logan Lake.

“An adequate amount of consultation and discussion had taken place and on that basis I felt it was appropriate to make the decision,” he said.

Highland Valley’s certification is contingent on a series of conditions, including installation of a triple liner to contain and treat leachate as well as a landfill gas management system to recover methane and generate energy.