A Convertus biofuel facility in Surrey. Screenshot, Convertus Group video

A Convertus biofuel facility in Surrey. Screenshot, Convertus Group video

Nanaimo facility could take some of Comox Strathcona’s compost

Industrial and commercial organics would likely be shipped, not regular food or yard waste

Comox Strathcona Waste Management’s plan for waste in the not-too-distant future involves sending all garbage to the Comox Valley landfill and backfilling trucks to bring organics to a regional compost centre in Campbell River.

Looking south though may also provide another option for some organic material from the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts.

RELATED STORY: Comox Strathcona awards contract for organic compost facility

For the board meeting in December, CSWM hosted a delegation from a firm called Convertus, which manages organics material in parts of Europe, eastern Canada and, closer to home, a couple of B.C. locations, including Nanaimo. Two representatives were appearing as a delegation to explore ways to support CSWM in its management of organic waste.

“I think we’re at the forefront within the country as far as working towards diversion goals,” said Sean Kawakami, business development manager for Convertus.

Convertus has four facilities across Canada where it handles more than 300,000 tonnes of organic waste each year. The company wants to increase capacity from about 20,000 metric tonnes at the Nanaimo facility, for which it recently secured a long-term contract with the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN). The plan is to have the site handle more than 40,000 tonnes of food, leaf and yard, co-mingled and fish waste. The upgrade will include four in-vessel composting tunnels, air humidification and biofilter capacity for odour abatement.

“We’re in the process of renovating that facility,” said Kawakami. “Some of this is absolutely state of the art.”

CSWM board member Arzeena Hamir wanted to know about pricing to receive materials as well as of the end compost product.

Convertus CEO Michael Leopold responded that in Nanaimo they have varying pricing structures.

“It really depends on the volume and the contamination of the waste,” he said.

The Nanaimo facility, he said, has had no odour complaints. This site will be able handle the ICI, or industrial commercial and institutional waste.

Leopold said, “What our facility really is … it’s able to handle your complex organic waste.”

Andy Adams, one of the Campbell River board members, asked about the potential percentage of organic material that could be diverted to Nanaimo compared with the amount the new regional facility, once operational, would handle.

Marc Rutten, CSWM general manager of engineering services, said the new facility in Campbell River, slated to open in 2022, could handle about 14,500 tonnes of mostly co-mingled food and yard waste. Roughly 3,000 tonnes are allocated for ICI waste, and expansion would be required to handle more, though Rutten added there is more ICI waste in the community. In all, around 20 per cent of the facility has capacity for ICI.

Jim Abram, a Strathcona board member, asked if there had been any consideration, in order to take advantage of economies of scale, for the region’s waste to go to Nanaimo rather than building a facility in the CSWM area. He also wanted to know if the company had been aware of CSWM’s interest in building its own facility or if staff had been aware of the company’s ability to take on waste from outside the Nanaimo region.

Chief administrative Russell Dyson replied that the planning and grant process for a facility at Campbell River is well underway, as the board has planned on the site for several years. He said staff could do an evaluation but that there are deadlines, including grant requirements, for the project. He also said they have held conversations with RDN staff about alternative outlets for organic materials.

“We have always been looking at all available options,” he said, adding there might be opportunities later to ship the ICI part of waste to the Nanaimo site.

Abram asked whether all the waste could go to Nanaimo or if there should be a further study on CSWM’s building its own facility.

“That’s a political discussion as to where this board wishes to go with this project,” Dyson responded.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

GarbageRecycling

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Al Kohut, owner of the new photographers GALLERY, checks out Looking Back by David Bradt. The photo printed on canvas is among 50 images featured in the Birds on the Wild Side exhibition showing until July 3. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Photo gallery in Sidney plucks out top bird photos

Birds on the Wild Side show running at the new photographers GALLERY until July 3

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read