Long-discarded Ashcroft landfill plan formally rejected

Province's decision doesn't alter Metro garbage plans

A provincial announcement that Metro Vancouver won’t be allowed to build a new regional landfill at its Ashcroft Ranch property appears to be largely a formality, coming about six years after the idea seemed dead anyway.

Metro’s board voted in early 2008 to give up on using any new Interior landfill and to instead try to build new waste-to-energy plants to burn excess garbage.

That decision came after the province in mid-2005 suspended the environmental assessment of the Ashcroft Ranch proposal in response to the threat of First Nation legal challenges.

Victoria announced Friday the Ashcroft Ranch environmental certificate is now being denied in part because the government approved Metro’s solid waste management plan this summer and it indicates no need for a new Interior landfill.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, who chairs Metro’s waste committee, said the region never withdrew the ranch landfill application in case it was somehow approved, as it would then offer another outlet for the region’s waste.

“There was never any intention to go in that direction,” he stressed.

An Environmental Assessment Office official said Metro never formally indicated it didn’t want to proceed, so the review process was reactivated after the solid waste plan was approved.

Moore said Metro will now likely sell the Ashcroft property, where it sank more than $10 million into property acquisition and other costs trying to get the landfill approved.

The issue still rankles many board members because the province swiftly approved a rival proposal in 2010 by dump operator Wastech to build a new regional landfill at Cache Creek, effectively a massive expansion of the existing site.

Metro had previously tried to do the exact same thing at Cache Creek, but was rejected about eight years ago.

“We were pretty shocked they could continue the operation across the street using the same technology and Metro couldn’t,” Moore said.

But he added the board thinks it’s Zero Waste strategy to greatly increase recycling will ultimately be a better choice.

A new Cache Creek landfill that may be built by Wastech could still be a backup outlet for Metro garbage if specific proposals to build in-region or out-of-region waste-to-energy plants are rejected.

Fraser Valley cities oppose more garbage incineration by Metro on health and air quality grounds.

Just Posted

Agassiz Community Gardens hoping to find new home at old McCaffrey school

The society has been looking for a new location since its previous gardens were sold in October

Kent looking to replace Ferny Coombe pool with indoor facility

The facility being built is dependent on grant funding from the province and federal government

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Liberals reject Karen Wang’s hope for ‘second chance’ in byelection vs. Singh

Former Burnaby South candidate dropped out after a post on the Chinese social media platform WeChat

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Overtime heroics help Giants to victory State-side

The Lower Mainland’s premier major junior hockey team earned a victory Wednesday over the Americans.

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Most Read