With Summerland now out of the running, Oliver landfill tops the list of sites being considered for a regional compost facility.
Bill Newell, CAO for the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen said staff have spent the last seven years working on siting an organics compost facility to service the region. Nine potential locations were identified over that time.
With the top two preferred sites ruled out, Marron Valley Road and Summerland Landfill, RDOS staff are now concentrating efforts on the third site identified — the Oliver Landfill.
Newell said a report to committee or the board was forthcoming but not urgent as plans to have a facility up and running are on a timeline of about 2020.
“We’re looking at the land adjacent to the Oliver Landfill. We lease that from the Crown. It’s an RDOS owned and operated landfill,” he said.
In a vote of six to one on Monday, Summerland council rejected the idea of even allowing RDOS staff access to the landfill to conduct further feasibility studies on the site.
Several times over the last year, Terry Shaefer, director for Area C, has commented the Oliver Landfill should be considered for the regional compost facility.
Shaefer represents rural Oliver, which is home to the Oliver Landfill located on Black Sage Road.
“I think it would be far less problematic than Summerland, although I sort of favour it not being an all-in-one facility. I think there should be a site in the north and one in the south, but I understand that conflicts with efficiencies being sought with it being one site,” he said.
Shaefer, who at one time worked at the Oliver Landfill, said the area was once used as a feedlot.
“It’s not like they have a lot of neighbours around to be adversely affected,” he said, noting that the facility being proposed would be state-of-the-art, fully enclosed and filtered to minimize odour.
Mayor of Oliver Ron Hovanes said he couldn’t comment too much on the issue as it hand’t been discussed by his colleagues on Oliver council, but that he was in favour of having the discussion.
“Let’s have the dialogue and let’s see what this would be like and move from there,” he said.
A need for a regional compost facility was identified in the 2012 solid waste management plan.
Finished compost material would be sold to the agricultural community, while water treatment compost would be used at the Campbell Mountain Landfill in a BioCover methodology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and comply with provincial standards.
Removing compost material at the Campbell Mountain landfill would increase the life of the landfill and reduce operating costs by about $25 million over its life.