Existing Metro Vancouver waste-to-energy plant in south Burnaby burns 280

Existing Metro Vancouver waste-to-energy plant in south Burnaby burns 280

Search begins for site of new Metro Vancouver garbage incinerator

Private land owners, cities eligible to propose properties to host waste-to-energy plant

Property owners who want to host Metro Vancouver’s next garbage incinerator will be asked to step forward over the next three months.

A formal call for public and private land owners to propose waste-to-energy sites will be issued next week by the regional district and closes Oct. 15.

Besides businesses and private land owners, local cities and arms of the provincial or federal governments are all eligible to advance possible sites for Metro Vancouver’s consideration.

It’s the latest stage in a complex procurement process for a new plant that’s to be built by 2018 and consume 370,000 tonnes of garbage per year.

Metro has already solicited proposals on technology from companies interested in operating the new plant and has short listed 10 of them, based on their track record and other factors.

Most intend to build a mass-burn incinerator, although a couple of firms would use anerobic digestion or gasification.

It’s expected many of the proponents will have separately optioned sites they consider suitable.

But Metro also wants a clutch of up to five more possible properties, one of which could be matched with an eventual winning proposal, in case it doesn’t come with a secured site or its site is less suitable.

Metro is also looking beyond this region to sites in neighbouring regional districts, including those on Vancouver Island.

Metro board chair Greg Moore said notification letters sent out recently sparked some alarm among Island residents who feared Metro could build the new incinerator in a community like Nanaimo against local wishes.

“People were misinterpreting what we were actually asking for,” he said. “We’re not forcing this upon any local government or anyone in the province. We’re just opening it up because the province told us to look out of region.”

A plant site outside the Lower Mainland would eliminate air quality concerns in the Fraser Valley Regional District, where Metro’s waste-to-energy plan has been under steady fire.

The environment ministry, in okaying Metro’s solid waste management plan, directed the region to consider out-of-region sites and to work closely with the FVRD to address Valley concerns.

Moore said any sites proposed on Vancouver Island, for instance, would have to win the support of the local council to have a serious chance of being picked.

“I think we’re going to have enough interest from municipalities and property owners who want to have a waste-to-energy facility located in their community that we aren’t going to have to look at areas that aren’t welcoming it,” he said.

A few possible sites are already known to be tied to specific proponents.

Covanta Energy, which runs the existing Burnaby incinerator and is one of the short-listed proponents, has said it could convert an old pulp mill at Gold River on Vancouver Island.

Aquilini Renewable Resources has been talking to the Tsawwassen First Nation about a possible site on TFN treaty lands.

And Lehigh Cement in Delta would burn pre-processed garbage as an industrial fuel at its current site if chosen.

By the end of the year, Metro is to make public a short list of the five additional sites it would option for purchase.

The regional board aims to pick a winning proponent and final site (or sites – it has not yet ruled out multiple plants) by 2015.

Metro last week approved the site selection criteria.

Most of the weight (55 per cent) is to be put on environmental and social factors – air pollution, health risks, water quality impacts, greenhouse gas emissions from waste hauling, proximity to existing and future energy customers, land zoning and compatibility with surrounding uses.

Another 35 per cent of the weighting is on technical suitability of the site for construction and operations, including transportation of waste. Another 10 per cent would be based on the financial costs and terms of any option to purchase or lease the site, including any specific conditions or restrictions.

According to Metro, the low rating on the financial costs is because the price of land is expected to make up less than five per cent of total project costs, which could top $500 million.

Proposed properties must be at least three hectares.

Metro expects to pay market value, but some land owners – such as local cities that stand to benefit from a district energy network – may offer the land for less to increase their chances of success.

A staff report says the region retains the right to reject any site it deems unsuitable – for example ones in the Agricultural Land Reserve or others that pose “unacceptable risks.”

Just Posted

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

Converter thefts have increased dramatically as the price of platinum has skyrocketed. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press photo)
Catalytic converter thefts continue to plague Delta

Police say the thefts are on the rise across the city, with seven incidents on Thursday, June 17

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

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

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read