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PoCo to hold meeting on compost facility

Rumours and misinformation swirling about a compost facility proposed for Port Coquitlam have prompted the city to hold a public information meeting at the end of the month.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Rumours and misinformation swirling about a compost facility proposed for Port Coquitlam have prompted the city to hold a public information meeting at the end of the month.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Rumours and misinformation swirling about a compost facility proposed for Port Coquitlam have prompted the city to hold a public information meeting at the end of the month.

The meeting comes in response to an anonymous flyer that was dropped on doorsteps across the municipality containing misleading information about the plant.

Several city staffers and Cascade Renewable Carbon Corp, the company putting forward the proposal, believe the expensive glossy pamphlet is the work of a rival composting operation.

The flyer states that it is from the Coalition for an Environmentally Friendly Port Coquitlam but neither the city or local environmentalists have heard of the organization and no contact information was provided.

"We want to ensure our residents have the correct information about this facility," said Tony Chong, PoCo's chief administrative officer, "as well as the opportunity to ask questions and share their views with us."

The facility is proposed for a site next to the train tracks near the Mary Hill Bypass in an area designated by PoCo's official community plan as heavy industrial. This fact is contrasted by the pamphlet, which states the land is next to environmentally sensitive wetlands.

If Cascade's operation meets the required approvals it would be capable of processing 100 tonnes of kitchen and green waste per day on its 3.75 acre site.

Organic waste is sorted and placed into sealed containers — 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, the company said the waste never touches the ground, which eliminates leaching and keeps odors contained.

Dozens of emails have been sent to The Tri-City News, with many people believing that the project is going ahead without the endorsement of council and higher levels of government.

According to the city of Port Coquitlam, however, council will review the application at an upcoming  meeting. It would then have to pass a resolution to Metro Vancouver about the city's position on the permit application.

Before receiving an operating permit Cascade would also be required to meet stringent regulations overseen by the regional government for all waste-processing facilities.

The rules incorporate requirements put forward by the provincial and federal government, including the management of leaching, on-site safety, odour, rodents and other issues.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29, between 7 and 9 p.m. in city council chambers. For more information about the compost facility proposal go to www.portcoquitlam.ca/compostplant.

Details can also be found at www.cascadecorp.ca and Metro Vancouver also provides information on its licence application process at www.metrovancouver.org/services/permits.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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