Proposed compost operation is slated for PoCo
Plans for a large-scale composting facility are being considered by the city of Port Coquitlam and could save on trucking costs for Tri-City municipalities with kitchen and green waste pickup programs.
Currently, the closest disposal centre for green waste is located in Richmond — approximately 38 km away — but a PoCo facility could reduce that distance to under 6 km, depending on the municipality.
Jerry Salberg, the chair and CEO of Cascade Renewable Carbon Corp., which is proposing the project, said with the volume of trips, the savings would quickly add up.
“It makes quite a difference when you are hauling things 38 km,” Salberg said. “We have a very good location from a commercial haulers perspective.”
Cascade is currently in the last phase of a development permit application with the city. Once that process is complete, further approvals would be required from Metro Vancouver.
The company expects to contract with local municipalities, commercial operations and institutions, and would be capable of handling up to 100 tonnes of materials a day.
If the proposal is allowed, a 3.75-acre property south of the Lougheed Highway, west of the Mary Hill Bypass, near the railway tracks, could be operational by the new year.
ODOURS WILL BE CONTAINED AT POCO PLANT, SAYS SALBERG
Organic waste is sorted and placed into sealed containers — each about the size of a shipping container — where it remains for about two to three weeks. At the end of the process, soil and soil enhancement products are created, which the company can then sell. More than 100 of the containers will be located on the property, capable of handling 32,000 tonnes of waste per year, which yields about 16,000 tonnes of soil.
Because of the sealed container technology, Salberg said the waste never touches the ground, which eliminates leaching and keeps odours contained.
“Three of our plants have been operating in the U.S. for upwards of 11 years,” he said. “There has never been an odour complaint.”
With many municipalities and Metro Vancouver placing a stronger emphasis on waste diversion from the landfill, Salberg said opening a facility in the Lower Mainland is a good business opportunity. Currently, the region collects about 285,000 tonnes of organic material annually, a number that is expected to jump to 400,000 by 2015.
A PoCo facility would be a showcase for the region, he said, as the company prepares to open up several more disposal centres across the Lower Mainland.
The city’s engineering department confirmed that it has been in preliminary discussions with Cascade about contracting its green waste disposal but an agreement cannot be ironed out until all of the company’s approvals are in place.
“There is going to be a greater and greater need,” said Laura Lee Richard, the PoCo’s director of development services. “What Metro Vancouver is going to need is more places where you can take green waste and turn it into compost.”
BY THE NUMBERS
• 3.75 acres: the size of the site.
• 16,000 tonnes: the amount of soil and enhancement products the company says the facility could create in a year
• 32,000 tonnes: amount of waste the facility is capable of handling per year
• 108: the number of purpose-built containers the facility will use to compost materials.
• 285,000: the amount of organic waste collected by Lower Mainland municipalities.