Metro Vancouver's existing Waste-to-Energy Facility in south Burnaby

Metro Vancouver's existing Waste-to-Energy Facility in south Burnaby

Metro ‘crazy’ to name WTE sites ahead of technology

Region kicks off informal search for garbage incinerator locations, partners

Metro Vancouver is launching an informal 90-day process to identify potential sites and operators of a new waste-to-energy (WTE) plant to consume more of the region’s garbage.

But some directors fear it’s a recipe for panic in their cities if prospective sites are named this fall because Metro won’t yet know what technology – incineration or some alternate method – will be used.

Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt said it’s “crazy” for Metro to identify locations without being able to tell fearful neighbours what might actually be built there, adding some WTE systems may be much less contentious than others.

“That is the best possible way to stir up a community in ignorance and fear and they have every right to that,” Hunt told the Metro board Friday. “This process is doomed to failure.”

Richmond Coun. Harold Steves also objected, saying the process should be geared from the outset to make low carbon emissions a top priority.

Despite the concerns, Metro is proceeding with the “market sounding” process, which aims to test the waters this summer to assess the readiness and intent of prospective proponents ahead of a more formal procurement.

Based on the results, Metro would later call for bidders to step forward, who would then be short-listed and then bid through a Request For Proposals (RFP) after the region makes key project decisions and sets bid evaluation criteria.

Metro solid waste manager Paul Henderson said the province’s approval of the region’s solid waste plan and its directives from the environment minister require that sites – both in region and out of region – as well as technologies be all considered in parallel, not in a particular order, through a competitive process.

“We’re bound by the plan,” added Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, chair of Metro’s Zero Waste committee.

“This is seen as way to go out to market and get some better idea of where we might be going than if we just throw it out to an RFP and then try to sort it out at that point.”

Project proponents who have lined up possible sites won’t have to reveal them during the market sounding.

But land owners or potential host cities will be able to step forward this summer and propose their sites for consideration.

Having a portfolio of alternate sites at hand could allow Metro to later decouple a proponent and its technology from their site and place it at a different site Metro prefers.

Officials hope to drum up as many proponents and viable sites as possible to maximize competition and get the best deal.

Metro will identify broad zones in and outside the region where WTE sites may be best suited.

It will also set criteria for weighing sites, including the proximity to district heating users, the required site size, proximity to transportation, air quality impacts, zoning and nearby land uses.

There’s been past talk among either proponents or host cities of building a new plant at sites in New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey or the Tsawwassen First Nation lands.

There are also proposals before Metro for out-of-region sites, including Gold River on the west coast of Vancouver Island, which would add to garbage transport costs but ease concerns in the Fraser Valley, where residents fear a Metro incinerator will worsen air pollution.

Henderson said between 10 and 20 WTE project proponents have had some level of contact with Metro so far.

The region’s waste strategy calls for it to stop sending garbage to the Cache Creek Regional Landfill, which takes 500,000 tonnes of waste per year.

A new waste-to-energy plant was to be built to take at least that much garbage, but  Metro downsized the plan this spring, estimating it now needs extra disposal capacity of 250,000 to 400,000 tonnes per year due to declining garbage volumes.

Just Posted

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read