A Convertus biofuel facility in Surrey. Screenshot, Convertus Group video

A Convertus biofuel facility in Surrey. Screenshot, Convertus Group video

Nanaimo facility could take some of Comox Strathcona’s compost

Industrial and commercial organics would likely be shipped, not regular food or yard waste

Comox Strathcona Waste Management’s plan for waste in the not-too-distant future involves sending all garbage to the Comox Valley landfill and backfilling trucks to bring organics to a regional compost centre in Campbell River.

Looking south though may also provide another option for some organic material from the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts.

RELATED STORY: Comox Strathcona awards contract for organic compost facility

For the board meeting in December, CSWM hosted a delegation from a firm called Convertus, which manages organics material in parts of Europe, eastern Canada and, closer to home, a couple of B.C. locations, including Nanaimo. Two representatives were appearing as a delegation to explore ways to support CSWM in its management of organic waste.

“I think we’re at the forefront within the country as far as working towards diversion goals,” said Sean Kawakami, business development manager for Convertus.

Convertus has four facilities across Canada where it handles more than 300,000 tonnes of organic waste each year. The company wants to increase capacity from about 20,000 metric tonnes at the Nanaimo facility, for which it recently secured a long-term contract with the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN). The plan is to have the site handle more than 40,000 tonnes of food, leaf and yard, co-mingled and fish waste. The upgrade will include four in-vessel composting tunnels, air humidification and biofilter capacity for odour abatement.

“We’re in the process of renovating that facility,” said Kawakami. “Some of this is absolutely state of the art.”

CSWM board member Arzeena Hamir wanted to know about pricing to receive materials as well as of the end compost product.

Convertus CEO Michael Leopold responded that in Nanaimo they have varying pricing structures.

“It really depends on the volume and the contamination of the waste,” he said.

The Nanaimo facility, he said, has had no odour complaints. This site will be able handle the ICI, or industrial commercial and institutional waste.

Leopold said, “What our facility really is … it’s able to handle your complex organic waste.”

Andy Adams, one of the Campbell River board members, asked about the potential percentage of organic material that could be diverted to Nanaimo compared with the amount the new regional facility, once operational, would handle.

Marc Rutten, CSWM general manager of engineering services, said the new facility in Campbell River, slated to open in 2022, could handle about 14,500 tonnes of mostly co-mingled food and yard waste. Roughly 3,000 tonnes are allocated for ICI waste, and expansion would be required to handle more, though Rutten added there is more ICI waste in the community. In all, around 20 per cent of the facility has capacity for ICI.

Jim Abram, a Strathcona board member, asked if there had been any consideration, in order to take advantage of economies of scale, for the region’s waste to go to Nanaimo rather than building a facility in the CSWM area. He also wanted to know if the company had been aware of CSWM’s interest in building its own facility or if staff had been aware of the company’s ability to take on waste from outside the Nanaimo region.

Chief administrative Russell Dyson replied that the planning and grant process for a facility at Campbell River is well underway, as the board has planned on the site for several years. He said staff could do an evaluation but that there are deadlines, including grant requirements, for the project. He also said they have held conversations with RDN staff about alternative outlets for organic materials.

“We have always been looking at all available options,” he said, adding there might be opportunities later to ship the ICI part of waste to the Nanaimo site.

Abram asked whether all the waste could go to Nanaimo or if there should be a further study on CSWM’s building its own facility.

“That’s a political discussion as to where this board wishes to go with this project,” Dyson responded.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

GarbageRecycling

Just Posted

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of homicide in Port Alberni

Terrance Mack being remembered as kind, gentle man

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes continue at ‘Locks of Love’ fence near Tofino-Ucluelet

Popular Highway 4 spot continues to be consumed by disrespect

Black Press Media file photo
POLL: Did you complete your 2021 census form on time?

Have you completed your 2021 census form yet? READ MORE: 2021 census… Continue reading

THC boardmember Melody McLorie and municipal councillor Coun. Duncan McMaster celebrated the start of construction on a 14-unit affordable housing development at 700 Sharp Road in February, 2021. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino Housing Corporation asks for portion of town’s MRDT funds

Tofino’s hotels and resorts collect a 3 per cent Municipal and Regional District Tax from visitors

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The new wing at the Victoria International Airport opened up on Thursday (File contributed/YYJ)
Pandemic takes ‘hundreds of millions’ out of Victoria Airport, Vancouver Island economy

Airport authority head says passenger volumes down as much as 98 per cent

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Reigning women’s World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who also took bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will debut two brand new programs for the 2021 Stars On Ice tour, in Victoria May 15. (File photo)
Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko hit the ice when Stars On Ice returns to Vancouver Island

The star-studded lineup is makes a return after pandemic hiatus

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Most Read