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.

Just Posted

Kwigwatsi Studio a labour of love for Comox Valley couple

The studio is at 3250 Comox Road and overlooks the Bighouse and K’omoks First Nation Band Office.

Courtenay church receives offers to replace stolen Christmas tree

Faith Lutheran had planned to use a fir tree on its property this season

Cumberland fundraiser to support forestry families Thursday night

Event includes food, live music from four bands and a silent auction to raise money

Comox Valley students spend day at Indigenous Junior Journalism School

Nick, Jullian, Darius, and Sergio may not have thought too deeply about… Continue reading

Courtenay couple opens up Christmas mini village to raise donations

Jim and Denise Madeiros have been collecting pieces for more than 25 years

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Most Read