Comox Strathcona Waste Management will look to a new facility to manage compost. File photo

Comox Strathcona Waste Management will look to a new facility to manage compost. File photo

Comox Strathcona awards contract for organic compost facility

Three bidders responded to second procurement attempt for project

Comox Strathcona Waste Management, after getting no final bids for its organics compost project the first time around, was a little luckier the second time.

Staff updated the board, composed of local and regional government representatives from the Comox Valley and Strathcona regions, at the latest meeting on Dec. 3 that they did receive formal other bidders this time. After the first attempt, staff changed the procurement process in the hopes of landing proposals for the project.

In mid-2020, the problem was that CSWM received no bids for the projects, which will see the current waste management centre in Campbell River become an organics compost facility while the site in the Comox Valley will serve as the landfill for the CSWM service area.

RELATED STORY: Comox Strathcona Waste Management gets no bids for compost facility

Initially, there had been five bids, which were reduced to three to submit formal proposals, but none did by the closing date in July, as firms had questions about staffing or the affordability of the project.

This time, CSWM changed procurement from design-build to design-bid-build, with the project going to tender separately for design and construction work. Some advantages include allowing for value engineering exercises during the design phase; providing a defined budget prior to tendering; allowing bidding from smaller local contractors, usually not suited to design-build contracts; and allowing for direct purchase of pre-engineered items such as a transfer station building or fabric building to provide cost savings.

There were three bidders by closing date in October, with the contract awarded to Sperling Hansen, a solid waste engineering firm based in North Vancouver with experience working with smaller regional districts on solid waste management. It will also be working with Net Zero Waste, which has operated a pilot project at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre since 2013.

“We’re working through a detailed design currently,” acting manager of CSWM capital projects Cole Makinson told the board.

He expects there will be a public input period in late winter or spring next year.

With the delay, there was some concern around the timeline and what this might mean to grants used to fund the capital project. In response, he said, “The grants were extended till March 31, 2022…. They might need a slight extension.”

Construction could start in the latter half of 2021, as would the request for proposals for operation, which is slated to begin in fall 2022.

Earlier at the meeting, some board members had questions about whether CSWM should’ve considered other options such as shipping waste to Nanaimo, but for others, their patience is wearing thin.

“I can’t say enough that we need to get on and get this project completed and operational…. Every delay is increasing the cost of the project, jeopardizes the grants, diminishes the credibility of this board and the service,” said Andy Adams, Campbell River’s mayor and one of the CSWM board members.

He cited a recent article in Building Links to contrast this organics compost project with a proposed organics project for the Sunshine Coast.

“They are moving ahead. We have, for the past six years, flip-flopped and sent mixed messages to staff,” he said. “It’s long past time to get on with it.”

According to the CSWM website, the project will cost an estimated $15.5 million. Of this, $6.4 million will come from grants and $9.1 million from reserves and tipping fees.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tom Lennox finds peace when he runs in the Cumberland Forest. He hasn’t missed a day in nearly a year. Photo supplied
Cumberland runner nears 366 consecutive days on the trails

Cumberland resident Tom Lennox has been running a minimum of five kilometres… Continue reading

Courtenay’s Ace Brewing Company’s Jet Fuel IPA was chosen for second place in the annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Photo submitted
Courtenay brewery takes silver medal at Canadian Brewing Awards

“It’s huge - they are the biggest awards in Canada that you can get (in the brewing industry).”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board is concerned about having to fund more than just hospitals like the one in the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Strathcona board worried over funding more than hospitals

Island Health points to seniors care to reduce demand at acute care sites

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Courtenay area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

Most Read