The Comox Valley’s new engineered landfill is located near Cumberland. It opened last fall. File photo by Scott Strasser.

Plenty more waste in Comox Valley and Campbell River landfills could be diverted – audit

AET Group conducted a regional waste composition audit last fall

The Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts still have some work to do when it comes to garbage diversion, according to a recent waste composition audit.

A two-week audit done by environmental consultant AET Group last fall found that potentially 50 per cent of waste disposed at the Comox Valley and Campbell River landfills during the audit could have been diverted under current recycling programs.

AET collected and analyzed 104 samples of waste in the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts, weighing approximately 100 kg each, from Sept. 25 until Oct. 6.

The audit found that thrown-out food was the biggest culprit, accounting for 20.2 per cent of divertable waste.

Paper and packaging accounted for 8.7 per cent, yard waste accounted for 4.7 per cent and plastic packaging accounted for 4.1 per cent.

AET’s report claimed that diverting food and yard waste would increase the Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service’s diversion rates from 47 per cent (the rate in 2016) to 60.1 per cent.

The CSWM’s goal under its 10-year solid waste management plan is to divert 70 per cent of waste from the Comox Valley and Campbell River landfills by 2020.

A statement from the CVRD says the audit results will be used as a tool to assess waste diversion improvement moving forward.

“The audit provides a baseline understanding to allow a focused improvement on specific materials that are currently being landfilled,” reads a portion of the statement.

A new regional composting facility in Campbell River is in the works and expected to be operational by 2020. The $8-million facility is intended to remove organics from the waste stream and help the CSWM meet its 70 per cent diversion rate target.

“This audit provides justification to start an organic diversion program…and will be used to measure performance once it is in place,” reads the CVRD’s statement.

AET recommends the CSWM study its waste composition regularly. Doing so annually would cost the CSWM about $65,000 per year. The CVRD statement said that recommendation will be reviewed through the budget process for future budgets.

“There is no provision for an additional audit on 2018,” it reads. “Staff will review the recommendation and provide the board information to justify additional audits in the future.”

The CVRD cautioned the audit has some limitations and should only “be considered a snapshot” of a short time period.

“One of the limitations of this audit is that the results represent just the characteristics of the waste received at the facilities during the audited two-week period, as waste composition changes over time,” reads part of a staff report. “It should [also] be noted that the yard waste percentages could be inflated at the time of year the audit was undertaken (fall 2017).”

The audit also found that half of the waste being disposed of in the Comox Valley and Campbell River could not be recycled.

Correction: A previous version of this story reported the organics facility in Campbell River will open in 2023. It is actually scheduled to open in 2020.

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

Just Posted

Famed brother, Africa inspire Comox artist Monica Meyer Huisamen

She already sold several works since this week’s opening at Milano

Courtenay’s first privately-owned retail cannabis store now open

Courtenay’s first privately-owned retail cannabis outlet is open for business. La Pachi… Continue reading

Possibly stolen goods recovered by Comox Valley RCMP

Was your car broken into recently?

Herb Alpert tribute coming to Courtenay

One of the favourite Georgia Straight Jazz Society shows presented at Thursday… Continue reading

Check out a new future at career and education fair in Comox

Event today features booths from more than 40 employers and educational institutions

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for the week of Jan. 21

Bouquets to and from the Adopt-a-Grandparent program; beef to people setting off fireworks

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Most Read