New Metro rules could spur incinerator development, city warns

Abbotsford, FVRD says changes could also impact local companies

Proposed changes to Metro Vancouver’s solid waste rules could lead to renewed calls for the development of an incinerator, the City of Abbotsford says.

Metro Vancouver changes include a new levy for that region’s waste generators and a licensing for commercial haulers. While the levy wouldn’t directly impact Abbotsford residents, the region’s waste companies have said the changes could limit competition and prevent investment in the sector.

The city is also worried that the proposed changes could be a first step in shaping waste flow in order to accommodate the construction of a new trash-burning incinerator. The city, and the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD), have been consistently opposed to the building of any new incinerator, citing its effects on the region’s airshed. A previous move to construct an incinerator was halted after the province rejected another proposed bylaw in 2014.

The FVRD also predicts that the changes could reduce the amount of trash deposited in Abbotsford’s transfer stations, and thereby the amount of money the FVRD collects from such deposits. The FVRD estimates that it collects between $33,000 and $90,000 thanks to waste originating in Metro Vancouver and deposited in Abbotsford.

“The resulting loss in revenue would require the FVRD to consider new changes to its funding mechanisms to maintain solid waste management services,” a city report says.

Council authorized city staff to send a letter about the concerns to Metro Vancouver and the Ministry of Environment.

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