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Pender Harbour BBS / LOCAL ISSUES: Decisions and situations that affect all of us in Pender Harbour. / The Dump Debate - Transfer Station or Status Quo?
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# Posted: 1 Nov 2009 05:46

I think it is a done deal, We just don't know it yet.

# Posted: 4 Nov 2009 16:09

Do we know it yet?

# Posted: 20 Nov 2009 18:37

Why in the world are we playing along to this tax grab.....itís an environmental red herring, marginal economics, and political disenfranchising exercise.

# Posted: 21 Nov 2009 12:22

I read in the Coast Reporter last night that Eric Graham wants to stop the poll of area A residents. Some residents have convinced him it's a waste of money, that they should just go with a transfer station!

John Rees
# Posted: 21 Nov 2009 17:36

Mellissa, I agree with you 100%, well said...jr

# Posted: 21 Nov 2009 18:40

Oh I'am going to laugh when these stupid idiots get their transfer station and oh darn it has gotten very expensive to get rid of the garbage.

Man people are frigging stupid but you can't fix stupity. If a transfer station goes through you will easily see 10 dollars a bag to get rid of garbage. Minimum charge will be double or tripple what it is now.

Anybody that has Zacharias's service is going to pay a hell of alot more because he will have to take his trucks to Sechelt.

If I have a large load to haul I will have to go to sechelt I guess people will have to get used to paying 250 dollars to haul a load away.

Like I said I will laugh when people start bitching about the cost to get rid of garbage. Then they will start bitching about people illegal dumping and now the area will have a problem with that.

Stupid people with no clue pushing Eric around.

Letting the SCRD put a transfer station in is just another way of getting stepped on.

I really hope the idiots that want the transfer station realize each one of those compactor bins are 30-40 grand each they will need two of them maybe three. So you want to spend 120 grand just for them then you have the cost to haul them to Sechelt and back so plan on 300 dollars a trip.

Last word plan on paying 20 dollars a bag for garbage keep the dump open and expanded it will be staying the same or a little more than it is now.

# Posted: 23 Nov 2009 02:06

We are getting a transfer station, regardless of the results of any further information meetings, public meetings, polls, questionnaires, surveys and coin tosses. So, any further tallying of our individual opinions is a waste of (our) money.

We're getting a transfer station because every other SCRD director expressed their personal preference for a transfer station and so it's a done deal. A referendum (or reverse referendum) is not required unless a new tax is to be levied on the property owners.

Even if Eric, representing Pender Harbour, fought hard to keep our dump, he's just one vote against the rest of the board. Majority rules. Dontcha love democracy? Doesn't it remind you of a gang of schoolyard bullies?

# Posted: 23 Nov 2009 08:06

Then why send out a survey last summer. Eric should state his position on the issue, he's pretty wishy washy about it.

# Posted: 23 Nov 2009 14:08

All I can say is we are having a Powell River problem and it is going to be a expensive one.

The harbour isn't getting any smaller the garbage volume isn't getting any smaller the Sechelt landfill is going to fill up fast. When that gets full now what.

You are going to see alot more illegal dumping so be prepared to see tons of garbage dumped on the backroads.

# Posted: 23 Nov 2009 14:17

Roadranger mentioned Powell River...
They barge their trash to Vancouver, where it's transferred to trucks and hauled up to Cache Creek. Very pricey.

The plan isn't for Sechelt landfill to fill up. They are installing a horrendously expensive recovery system that will burn methane produced by the garbage to create electric power. This is part of the reason they want our garbage, because at low volumes the system isn't at all cost-effective.

I have no idea what the environmental impact is of burning methane, or if the SCRD hopes to do a deal with Powell River to take their garbage too. If anyone has any information, I'd be interested.

# Posted: 23 Nov 2009 14:44 - Edited by: chupacabra

Methane is the cleanest of the carbon based fuels, which basically means that it emits less CO2 per unit of energy than gasoline or diesel, and far less than coal. Whether it is "cleaner" than using power from the grid is hard to say, but the overall carbon footprint is usually ignored as long as there is the perception that it is green. Of course methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, so just making sure it doesn't get into the atmosphere is a positive.

John Rees
# Posted: 23 Nov 2009 22:03

The SCRD have announced there will be a further information meeting in January along with a community poll on this issue.

In my opinion there is still a reasonable chance that a strong response from this area opposed to a transfer station would gain Board support.
For the most part the Board, in my opinion, are fiscally, econonomically and arithmetically challenged and are relying totally on a study prepared by outsiders.
Not considered in their stated preference for a transfer station are the long term benefits of an additional option for the Coast, the growth potential for this area along with the northern end of Halfmoon Bay and the will of the Public here.

For several years the SCRD have been playing with a power project at the Sechelt landfill [ they do not have hydro ], windmills and solar are currently used and to the best of my knlwledge they have enough power so far for the coffee machine. [assisted by a generator ]
Even though they have a grant to experiment with Methane gas generation it would probably be two or three decades before any meanigful power is produced. [ to include the fridge as well as the coffee machine ]
In the meantime we will be using that exciting possibility as one of the major reasons to close the landfill here.

# Posted: 24 Nov 2009 01:03

I was wondering why there was a bicycle set up at the Sechelt dump with the rear wheel removed and the chain hooked to a generator LOL.

# Posted: 26 Nov 2009 16:58

Each time the SCRD has set out to close our dump they have begun by doing a study that supports their position and tried to convince us it's a done deal. In past the residents have made it clear that they wouldn't stand for it, and the SCRD had to back off. I don't see why that wouldn't happen again if people were given a say and obviously the SCRD and its local cadre of dump-closers is very frightened of allowing any kind of representative vote in the matter just because they know there would be such a strong majority against closure it would be too controversial to proceed with the plan. They were on the verge of doing another survey but Eric presented a motion to stop that at the last board meeting because Wendie Milner showed up with a 250-name petition favouring the transfer station and . I have seen the preamble for this petition and it is pure scaremongering with no factual basis. I suspect that many of the signatories are non-residents who have summer places on Sakinaw Lake. It is hard to understand why the SCRD would accept a partisan document like this as more valid than their own survey, which had 169 responders and was a much more representative sample of opinion across the whole community. The dump-closers are saying that people didn't know what they were doing when they answered the survey, but it was done on the heels of a very well-attended public meeting where SCRD staff explained the reasons for wanting to close the dump in detail, all of which were posted on the SCRD website. The petition, on the other hand was accompanied by a series of groundless claims about water pollution and health risks that the Ministry of Environment and even the SCRD has contradicted. I find all of this quite disturbing. People are free to take sides but the SCRD should be more professional and have more respect for democratic process than this one is showing. I hope people will demand a proper test of local opinion, and if that happens I am confident this latest attempt to deprive us of our landfill will be stopped in its tracks.

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Nov 2009 18:33

Have been giving this issue some considerable thought recently.
It seems to me that if the SCRD were to identify specific environmental reasons [science backed ] for the closure I would go along with it.
I could argue the economics for maintainging the facility, but would capitulate [in favour of a transfer station ] as would many others, if we had definitive proof that the Landfill posed an environmental hazzard.
Conjecture is rampant, almost daily I hear more reasons for closure.
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine told me emphatically that the carbon footprint for trucking the waste would be offset by the fact that no overcover material would be hauled from Sechelt,[ to Pender ] with closure..
I checked into this, and found out that no overcover material has ever come from Sechelt. Possibly some gravel for the road, some time ago.
From my perspective there are several questions that should be answered by the SCRD in order to provide clarity on this issue.

One, are there any known environmental concerns with the Pender Landfill.?

Two, if not, would the SCRD make this clear to this community.

Three, if the answer to One is yes, could we have the science to back this up made available before our next community go around.

Four, would the SCRD publish the test results conducted regularly by the Province at the PH Landfill. [ I understand quarterly ]

Five, possibly a comparison with the environmental characteristics of the Sechelt dump would help, IE, why is this the best option.?

Six, what is the time frame and and proposed scale [ at least a realistic anylasis of the amount of power projected and the ultimate cost of this idealistic plan ] of the Methane Gas / to power project planned for the Sechelt Landfill.

Seven, does the Sechelt Landfill require the the Pender waste to make it viable.?

Eight, are there any environmental concerns with increased loads in Sechelt, and the possible effect on Chapman Creek and the Town of Sechelt. [ surely science must be available on that ]

I actually have twenty questions but I have to cook dinner now...jr

# Posted: 26 Nov 2009 23:28

John, if there was a big environmental problem at the dump, don't you think the SCRD would be beating us over the head with it? The fact they're not tells us all we need to know--there is no environmental smoking gun. On the contrary, SCRD staff have contradicted speakers at the meetings who have tried to say the dump impacts water quality or is improperly operated, pointing out that it regularly passes Ministry of Environment inspection and water quality testing. The Sperling Hansen Report says the leachate treatment system installed at a cost of over $200,000 in 2001 is "functioning well" and the landfill overall "has limited environmental impact."

It's for lack of a more substantial environmental issue that the SCRD has had tried to make a big deal out of landfill gas (LFG), saying that if the dump is closed the methane can be captured, preventing global warming effects equal to ever so many Hummers driving to the moon and back. There are big holes in the landfill gas argument. It asks you to believe methane emissions can be controlled at the Sechelt dump without closing it, but at Pender they can only be controlled by closing it. This is nonsense. Methane capture systems were pioneered at smaller sites than Pender, but the fact is, similar sites operate all over BC without any LFG control because the government doesn't require it. The SCRD would have us believe they want to exceed government standards on gas emissions, but they have at least three closed landfill sites spouting methane down south that they are doing nothing about. For that matter, it may be years before anything is done aboutl LFG at Sechelt, which has ten times the methane emissions that Pender does. But no matter. It's only Pender where it becomes a big issue. Let them clean up their own messes, then come and talk to us, I say.

Does the Pender landfill have any known environmental concerns? I would have to say--of course it does. Garbage is in itself an environmental problem and wherever it goes there will be impacts. It smells. It's messy. It does bad things to birds. But garbage has to go somewhere, and wherever it goes it will have those impacts. We have now been piling garbage on the Garden Bay site for over 30 years and we can't reverse that. Even if it is closed in 2010, whatever risk it poses to the environment will continue forever. Keeping it going won't appreciably addto the impact that has already been made, especially if we get serious about recycling. And if we close it, we will just spread the stink down the highway to Sechelt and burn up a lot of diesel doing it. But according to a long list of engineers and hydrologists who have studied the site--Dayton and Knight, Microbial Technologiess, Piteau Associates, Brian Carson Associates and now Sperling Hansen Associates--the Pender landfill is a better than average site with no major environmental issues. The armchair experts and scaremongers can say what they want, but that is what the what burden of scientific proof indicates.

Jane Reid
# Posted: 27 Nov 2009 08:34

I have not read the recent reports, but do they estimate the cost of closure of the landfill? Do they estimate the on-going cost of the effects of monitoring any such closure? In past, these costs were substantial....

# Posted: 27 Nov 2009 14:35 - Edited by: whiteguy

The Sperling Hansen Report estimates the cost of closing the landfill in 2010 at $666,500. Post closure costs, in the form of monitoring the site for 25 years, will add another $480,525 for a total of $1,147,025.

The SCRD has a sinking fund to pay for closure costs but as of 2010 it will have only $500,00 in it, leaving a shortfall of $166,000 to be raised from taxes. This is more than the capital cost of extending the landfill's life until 2026, which is only $155,378.

If the landfill is extended until 2026, there will be enough in the sinking fund to fully cover closure costs with no shortfall to be raised from taxes.

(All figures from Pender Harbour Landfill Waste Management Options Final Report by Sperling Hansen Associates, Dec. 2008)

# Posted: 27 Nov 2009 20:30

A good example look at the old Chevron station. How many years was that had to be enviromentally tested every year.

There are some people picking at the gravel up by Ruby lake where that truck flipped earlier this year. These two guys sitting on short stools checking the gravel on the lake side of the road.

To cap off the current lifts of garbage the over burden that will be cleared for the expansion can be used..

# Posted: 27 Nov 2009 20:36 - Edited by: whiteguy

You know it costs a lot to drive up from Sechelt and fill a test tube with runoff water every three months, especially when you consider SCRD administration costs. Look at the dump. They say it cost $256,838 to run in 2007 and that's too much for those poor taxpayers in Gibsons so it has to be closed. But only $100,410 of that went to the contractor who actually runs the landfill. All the rest went to SCRD staff and adminstration costs! They make sure it's too expensive!

# Posted: 28 Nov 2009 12:57

This is a letter given to me by Buddy Boyd, manager of the privately-owned Gibsons Recycling Depot. As a veteran of the recycling industry, Mr. Boyd feels the best solution is to keep the landfill operating, and graudually convert the site to a recylcing and recovery centre, which would be more efficient than trucking waste to Sechelt where it would only be landfilled in another landfill with its own environmental problems:

Why is Pender Harbour being encouraged to "dump" their waste problems onto another community? Why should Sechelt have to accept PH's waste? Why should taxpayers fund this scheme? By creating "in-house" solutions, the PH community will become more self sufficient and more sustainable. By turning their landfill into a composting, reclamation, resource recovery and re-use centre, there will be no need for trucking their garbage anywhere. Pender Harbourites have a long tradition of ethical independence. PH could easily be the Hornby Island of the Sunshine Coast and leaders in the sustainability movement.

Hornby Island should be the model for every community in BC. This is a community even smaller than Pender Harbour that has operated a highly successful recycling and re-use centre combined with a landfill for 30 years. The centre reduces their waste stream by over 70%. It supports local community. It creates local jobs and opportunities. It builds community pride. And it recognizes discards as a resource, not as waste. See Hornby is a good model for PH because the PH landfill is central and the PH community is already in the habit of bringing their discards to it, rather than having curbside pickup, which is what the SCRD ultimately plans for the whole coast. Single-stream curbside collection will not work if we want to be a Zero Waste community, because it depends on an industrial infrastructure that is itself hugely wasteful. Curbside collection in rural communities where people are already transporting themselves to work, on shopping trips or leisure activities, is even less justified because residents can easily drop off their discards and compostables along the way. This eliminates the huge carbon footprint created by an endless parade of energy-guzzling garbage trucks running up and down our highways. For those who don't or are unable to drive to a resource recovery facility, locals have the opportunity to develop businesses that cater to their needs, creating yet more new jobs.

Our ultimate goal must be to reduce the volume of discards that we each create. If we do not reduce, rethink and restrain ourselves, we will be the slaves to garbage haulers who need us to keep plundering our planet to create more consumable goods for them to haul. Easy, convenient disposing enables us to stay dependent on unchecked consumption. Greenwashing, rebranding and using industrial waste consultants to design Zero Waste programs for our communities is a formula that has failed all across BC. We are hooked on garbage like a drug and waste haulers are the drug dealers. As a community we need to go cold turkey and get off the wasting path.

The conduct of the current SCRD administration does not instill confidence in their ability to achieve meaningful waste reduction. Recently they were taken to task on their own citizens' committee, PMAC, for mishandling toxic e-waste. Their response was to recommend PMAC be shut down, which backfired. They rejected the results of their own survey on the PH landfill when it came back over 80% against closure, then announced a second survey, then withdrew that offer. The process is bordering on being undemocratic. Last week an internationally respected scientist, Dr. Loys Maingone, resigned from PMAC because he no longer wished his name to be associated with the actions of the SCRD. I have involved myself in the PH landfill closure debate because I believe people need to be aware of such matters when judging the credibility of SCRD claims. As a person with many years experience in waste management I salute Pender Harbour's independent spirit and assure you that made-in-Pender waste solutions are not only better for you as a community, they are better for the planet. The giant "pyramid-building" plan that the SCRD is on will not work. Sechelt as the central collection point for all areas is an unsustainable make-work project for the local trucking industry. This will not promote reduction of our discards. True reduction programs require little or no trucking.

John Rees
# Posted: 28 Nov 2009 14:38

Good one Whiteguy.!!!!

Has Buddy presented this letter anywhere else, like letters to the editors ?.
He quite often sends stuff to the SCRD Infrastructure Committee.

I know Eric reads this forum, so what about this initiative Eric.?
As a previous Director for six years I would have been happy to offer [request ] this suggestion [ to SCRD Staff and Board ] as a viable alternative.

# Posted: 28 Nov 2009 20:50

Roadranger - regarding transfer station fees - That is a worry of mine, that we will get hammered down the road to drop off our garbage. I'm pretty sure fuel isn't going to get cheaper....and it will be some time before a garbage hauler gets prius gas mileage.

Great post Whiteguy! Should be submitted to the Local and Pender Harbour rag.

# Posted: 29 Nov 2009 11:53

The SCRD knows Buddy Boyd very well. Mr Boyd is well into the recycling industry and he is trying to make things work. Of course the SCRD has to get in the way and make things tough.

Currently at the landfill most recycleables have bins. The biggest step was removing carboard from being buried. Newspaper is another thing that shouldn't be burried.

The big problem with recycling metal cans etc is there isn't much of a market for it. GRIPs recycling has a hell of a time with tin cans the price per ton isn't enough to cover trucking. They have found somebody to haul into Vancouver cheaper than what they pay City Transfer.

You have to talk to Buddy Boyd to get his side of the story about what the SCRD is doing with recycling on the coast.

# Posted: 29 Nov 2009 15:18

What I find maddening about this discussion is that the SCRD has never looked at any alternatives to their one idea of trucking waste to Sechelt and burying it in the Sechelt landfill. It may in fact be better and cheaper to develop a local Area A recovery centre in combination with the landfill such as Buddy Boyd recommends but we will never hear about it from the SCRD.

The transfer station option would actually work against any kind of progress in recycling in Pender. Apart from the metals bin and the gyproc bin, everything would be just piled into one bin of mixed garbage and hauled away to the Sechelt landfill. If we tried to do more separating of plastics etc. into smaller bins, it would conflict with the idea of Direct Disposal hauling big 40-yard containers of mixed garbage, so you can better believe it wouldn't happen. The lower coast is all going to go to curbside recycling, and Area A will be stuck sending down these big containers with every type of waste compacted together for the foreseeable future. Yet this is supposed to be the green option.

# Posted: 2 Dec 2009 12:34

I just read the article in the Spiel and Mayor Janyk appears to be a wee bit of a d-bag. I guess by his flu shot comment he thinks the people in Area A are just not sophistimicated enough to make their own decisions.

# Posted: 11 Dec 2009 21:44

Just read some of the minutes of the Infrastructure meeting on Dec 03/09. It sounds like Sechelt dump is in for a surprise! Or should I say taxpayers are in for a surprise?
I wish I could attach the doc. Sounds like SCRDs wish to turn Sechelt dump into a cool toy will be nixed. If we let Pender turn into a transfer station, we are going to get hosed to fix up Sechelt dump.
If this info circulates well and the full breadth of the Sechelt landfill cost is known, Area A residents will come around and nix the transfer station idea in a hearbeat....jmho

# Posted: 11 Dec 2009 22:06

I am told that Janyk never misses a chance to agitate against the landfill & has been after it for years, complaining about that it "loses" $120,000 a year (meaning tipping fees fall that much short of meeting costs). However he doesn't seem to mind that Pender pays about $500,000 more in taxes than it gets back in other services from the SCRD. If they took the "losses" of the landfill out of what we overpay in taxes, the SCRD would still be coming out far ahead on the deal.

Some new developments on the dump debate: Acording to minutes of the Nov. 25 Infrasctructure Services Committee meeting, "the province has indicated that Sechett Landfill's existing permit needs to be' updated to an
Operational Certificate (OC) based on current standards." This is a low-key way of saying that the Sechelt dump has been busted real good, and it will cost millions to fix it. One of the main issues is "High rainfall. infiltration. and leachate generation potential at the site." Leachate is a chronic problem in Sechelt, all the more critical because the intake for the SCRD water system is directly below it. Another problem is that the waste has been piled up too steeply and too close to the lease boundaries. Now they have to reduce the footprint of the landfill and angle the sides down down, which will reduce the lifespan of the landfill to 18+/- years. Once the sides are properly peeled back, they will be covered with a membrane designed to reduce the leachate problem at the site. Cost of membrane alone: $8 million. Staff is already recommending increased user rates to raise money. There are two morals in this for Pender: first, the warnings that the Sechelt landfill is going cost all those who use it a fortune in environmental upgrades has been proven true. Second, moving waste from the leachate-controlled Pender landfill to the leachate-plagued Sechelt landfill does not reduce the risk to local water supplies but rather increases it.

Another matter: Our director, Eric Graham, appears to have backed away from his earlier position that the landfill issue needs to be put to a referendum or at least an opinion survey, saying a 250-name survey presented by landfill opponent Wendie Milner shows opinion has shifted in favour of closure. This leaves the vast majority of residents who support the landfill no choice but to go the referendum route themselves, and everybody who wants to avoid being railroaded on this issue should make sure they sign up. You can find forms at Pender Diesel, Petrocan, Crossroads, Off the Hook, and many other places. If you want one to take around phone 883-2308.

# Posted: 11 Dec 2009 22:30

One of the main issues is "High rainfall. infiltration. and leachate generation potential at the site." Leachate is a chronic problem in Sechelt, all the more critical because the intake for the SCRD water system is directly below it. Whiteguy this has been going on for years. As I said in a previous post, Leheigh (CAL Pit) is NOT happy with the overflow running onto their gravel, during a rainfall that overflows the ponds at the Sechelt dump. As far as Janyk is concerned he should look at some of the roads around Gibsons and off Port Mellon Hwy. Their is a garbage dump in Gibsons but nobody is paying a tipping fee, except when the SCRD hires a contractor to go around and pick the stuff up we all pay.

# Posted: 11 Dec 2009 23:12

I signed the petition not to close the dump at crossroads. I think Eric will have a eye opener when he sees how many people that Do Not want the dump closed.

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