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Solid waste reviews now underway

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The construction and demolition waste numbers were slightly higher the following year with about 32 per cent of the waste by weight going to the Whistler landfill.

A Pemberton case study may serve as an example of how waste can be diverted from the landfills.

When the Signal Hill elementary school is knocked down at the end of the year, the demolition waste may not go into a rapidly filling area landfill.

"We’re currently in discussion with the contractor to look at the potential for diverting a lot of that material from going to the landfill," said Allen. "It’ll be a study that includes a living demonstration of how this might work."

The study will look at moving construction and demolition waste to facilities where it can be crushed and used for things like roadbeds. Or, the waste could be separated and the wood waste could be advertised and sold or even offered for free.

Ultimately, the goal is to lower the sheer amount of construction and demolition waste going into the landfills.

There is also the wood to energy project proposed for SLRD by SNC-Lavalin, which may also affect the future of solid waste management in the area.

The incinerator could burn up to 68,000 tonnes of wood waste each year, which could generate approximately three and a half megawatts of power for B.C. Hydro.

SNC Lavalin wants to build the incinerator in the southern part of the regional district, mainly because of the easy access to millions of tonnes of wood waste there. There is also some opposition to the incinerator.

But a centralized composting facility also needs wood waste.

Allen said composting is a little like a recipe. A certain amount of carbon is needed and that comes from the wood waste. And a certain amount of nitrogen is needed and that comes from the organic waste.

"If we need wood waste for a composting facility as part of the process, we don’t want to be competing with a another waste energy facility for that material," said Allen.

"These things all have to mesh and they all have to work together. You can’t have the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing."

The two resolutions passed by the SLRD board have started the ball rolling before 2004. The reviews will take into account the Composting Feasibility Study, the Construction and Demolition Study and the wood to energy plan.

Allen said the reviews take a lot of time and it’s a good idea to get a head start.

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