The Capital Regional District plans to ship waste, in the form of biosolids, to the Lower Mainland to be used as fuel in the near future.
A Parks and Environment Committee staff report from May says the CRD intends to manage dried Class A biosolids by providing the material as an alternate fuel source at cement plants on the Lower Mainland. The report says this plan aligns with the CRD’s recent climate emergency declaration as well as other objectives to meet environmental, social and financial sustainability by June 1, 2023.
Biosolids are a by-product of wastewater treatment. After wastewater is treated at the new McLouglin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, residual solids will be conveyed through a 19-kilometre pipe to the Residuals Treatment Facility located at Hartland Landfill. The solids will then be digested, heated and dried resulting in Class A biosolids, the highest standard of biosolids that contain almost no detectable levels of pathogens.
The CRD says it is expected about 7,000 tonnes of Class A biosolids will be produced each year starting in 2021.
A request for proposals (RFP) has also been released by the CRD as it seeks proposals from the trucking industry to transport the dried biosolids from Hartland Landfill to a storage silo near Richmond.
According to the RFP, the biosolids are “granular, range between one to three millimetres in size [and are] at minimum 90 per cent dry.”
Currently, the CRD’s wastewater undergoes preliminary screening before being discharged into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to the Capital Regional District’s Biosolids Beneficial Use Strategy Definitive Plan. Under the province’s Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, the CRD is required to implement secondary treatment by Dec. 31, 2020. This will be done through the wastewater treatment plant at McLouglin Point. The wastewater will undergo tertiary treatment and the residual solids conveyed to Hartland Landfill to be turned into biosolids.
Andy Orr, a spokesperson for the CRD, said more specific details about the shipment of biosolids to the mainland beyond what is highlighted in the request for proposals cannot be made available because the service agreement with the Lower Mainland facility has not yet been finalized. He said the CRD expects to have more information to share by the end of the month.
“We anticipate that the production of biosolids at the Residuals Treatment Facility at Hartland Landfill will begin mid-2020, once the new McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant begins operations this year,” Orr said. “We have initiated the process to procure a hauling service now, in order to have this service in place and ready to go at that time.”