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CSWM makes budget change for new landfill cell

“It bears to note for the public, you’re paying for it one way or the other here.”
CSWM is working on engineering and design for the next landfill cell. Record file photo

he new landfill cell for the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre took a small step forward at the last Comox Strathcona Waste Management board meeting.

The board met on June 17 and passed a recommendation to move up money in the five-year financial plan and capital expenditures program from 2022 to this year.

“We’re midway through the design of Cell 2,” said CSWM manager of capital projects Cole Makinson.

CSWM has a long-term project to replace the existing landfill in a three-cell project, the first of which opened in 2017, to replace the existing landfill. There is another component for a leachate treatment facility.

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Ultimately, the Comox Valley facility will be the endpoint for garbage within the Comox Valley and Strathcona regions, while organics material will be sent to a compost facility slated for Campbell River.

Director Edwin Grieve, who represents Area C of the Comox Valley Regional District, wondered where the region was in terms of filling up the first cell, and also touched on a current plan for the region to expand recycling and yard waste pickup to electoral areas in the Comox Valley.

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He stressed that not diverting these materials from landfills comes with costs, particularly from reduced landfill lifespan.

“It bears to note for the public, you’re paying for it one way or the other here,” he said.

The region has found much organic or recyclable material showing up in the waste stream, and CSWM wants to increase the diversion rate of these materials from the garbage at the landfill, in part to extend the life of the new cells.

“We’re hoping to see a reduction in our tonnage,” Makinson added.

The motion before the board was to increase the expenses for engineering and construction by $1 million for this year and reduce the financial plan for 2022 by the same amount. The overall budget for the project in the five-year plan is just over $8.8 million, according to the staff report. The amount approved for this year had been $803,000 to go toward engineering and design, while the amount for 2022 had been $8,035,000, mainly to cover the construction of the cell.

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