Thursday, September 12, 2013

An update on sending garbage to Abbotsford and Waste-to-Energy

Earlier this year, I wrote about how some waste haulers that collect commercial, multi-family, and institutional garbage from Metro Vancouver are dumping it in Abbotsford to bypass the strict waste management requirements in our region which are meant to keep recyclable materials, materials part of BC’s Product Stewardship program, kitchen waste, and construction waste from going to landfill in Cache Creek or being incinerated in Burnaby.

Metro Vancouver is looking at a bylaw that would make it more difficult for waste haulers to dump our garbage in Abbotsford, bypassing regional waste management policies. Metro Vancouver was originally going to require waste haulers get a license to ensure accountability that waste was managed within our region. This was met with fierce opposition from private waste haulers who accused Metro of limiting the “free market”.

Metro Vancouver has backed away from the idea of requiring a license for waste haulers. The new bylaw would “require” that garbage ends up in regional facilities. A hauler could face a fine of up to $200,000 each time garbage goes outside the region. I guess Metro is planning on having trash spies to catch haulers that ship trash outside of the region.

On September 5th, Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee was given the opportunity to provide third reading to the bylaw. The bylaw would require the approval of the provincial government before it could be enforced.

In other controversial waste management news, Metro Vancouver is continuing the processes of finding a site for a future waste-to-energy (incineration) facility. Metro has put out a request for proposal (RFP) for anyone who has land available in the region that would meet the requirements for the siting of a waste-to-energy facility. The RFP closes in October. Once Metro comes up with short list of locations, I’m sure there will be renewed discussion about waste-to-energy in the region.

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