IMAGE SUBMITTED PROPOSED FACILITY A proposed regional compost facility would be located behind the existing Summerland landfill. Residents have voiced concerns about the effect of this facility and the increased truck traffic along Prairie Valley Road.

Concerns raised about proposed Summerland compost facility

Residents address odour, traffic and leachate issues surrounding proposed regional facility

Summerland residents came out to voice their concerns about a proposed regional compost facility considered for the community.

More than 120 people, the majority of them unhappy with the proposal, attended a public information meeting at the Summerland IOOF Hall on Wednesday evening.

Cameron Baughen, solid waste management coordinator for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, said the proposed facility could save 3,500 to 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and extend the life of landfills in the area.

However, there are concerns about odour from the facility, transportation of the materials and leachate.

To reach the site, the trucks would pass through seven kilometres of residential areas.

Baughen said other sites with problems have been poorly located, using the wrong technology or handling too much material or the wrong materials.

He said the regional district is working to create a clean site, without problems.

“We want to make sure that this site is world class,” he said. “Once you make your neighbours your enemies, you’ll never get them back.”

At present, the regional district is considering two sites, one in the Marron Valley area and one behind the Summerland landfill.

The costs of operating a compost facility at either site is roughly the same, Baughen said.

Residents speaking at the meeting raised concerns about the effects of the site on the community.

Dave Smith, a retired fisheries biologist, said the proposed Summerland site is close to the water treatment facility.

Baughen said the regional district will monitor the groundwater and will work to ensure liquids from the compost facility do not contaminate the soil or the groundwater.

Others raised concerns about the increased traffic along Prairie Valley Road. This road, a secondary highway, passes by two elementary schools on the way to the proposed facility.

Margaret Holler said the traffic volume, estimated at 20 to 25 trucks a day, would be a potential danger to the children at the elementary schools.

People living in the area said they already have concerns about the safety of children along the busy road.

Marilyn Hansen said the projected traffic level could increase significantly in future years.

“Most of us in this room think that this is the wrong location,” she said.

Odour concerns were also mentioned during the evening.

Some who live in the area said evening winds tend to blow from the west, bringing odours from the site to their homes.

Baughen said these catabolic winds have already been considered in the preliminary studies.

Others suggested finding an isolated location for the compost facility and constructing an access road to the site.

Baughen said the regional district has considered an isolated location, but added that the cost of the access road would be prohibitively expensive.

Regional district staff will present comments from this meeting and from an earlier meeting in Kaleden.

The regional district board will make its recommendation of where to locate the site, but if Summerland is selected, the municipality must also approve the proposal.

 

JOHN ARENDT DISCUSSING COMPOSTING Cameron Baughen of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen explains the details of a proposed regional compost facility during a public information meeting in Summerland on May 17.

Just Posted

Choral Extravaganza brings valley choirs together

Sunday concert features six choirs singing together

Share a Smile Telethon hits the mark

The 38th annual OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre telethon in the books

Counsellor sees need for treatment centre regulations

An addictions counsellor sees need for regulations

Biosphere designation boosts national park drive

Certification outlines conservation as key part of sustainable tourism development

Visiting Vees pound West Kelowna Warriors

The Vees got hat tricks from two players en route to an 11-3 win

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Choral Extravaganza brings valley choirs together

Sunday concert features six choirs singing together

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Boomer radio expands

Kelowna resident Allen Holender continues to expand his network

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read