At its open meeting on Aug. 15, the board of directors of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) voted unanimously in favour of a motion authorizing staff to pursue acquisition of a property at Campbell Hill Drive East for the construction of a new Eco-Depot. It will serve the communities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and other residents in the area.
The recommendation came after staff presented a report showing feedback that was gathered at open houses in Ashcroft and Cache Creek in June that were attended by approximately 100 people, and via a survey that garnered more than 200 responses.
At the open houses and in the survey, three sites for the proposed Eco-Depot were discussed: one off Highway 97C at Boston Flats; one on Campbell Hill Drive East off Highway 1 across from the landfill (the former chip reload site); and one on Campbell Hill Drive West near the landfill, where the Transfer Station is currently located.
TNRD staff had previously recommended the Boston Flats site, and in April 2019 the Board gave first and second reading to a rezoning application for the property. However, at the subsequent public hearing many neighbours spoke out in opposition to the rezone, raising concerns about possible negative impacts of an Eco-Depot at Boston Flats and the lack of consultation. The rezoning application was defeated, and staff were directed to do more consultation and investigate possible alternative sites.
The survey results showed that the Campbell Hill Drive West location (current Transfer Station) received the least amount of support (38 per cent). Results for the other two location options were divided, with no obvious preferred location. Campbell Hill Drive East received the most support at 50 per cent, with the Boston Flats location close behind (47 per cent of respondents were in support).
A common comment from Boston Flats residents was the feeling that the new Eco-Depot should be far from any homes or businesses, and many of them supported the existing Transfer Station location because it is furthest from any homes.
However, another common theme was a desire for the Eco-Depot to be located in a convenient and easily accessible location. Many people complained that the existing Transfer Station was too far out of their way, and that the long uphill access road was a deterrent to recycling. The TNRD has received many complaints about the site since the Transfer Station opened there in early 2017.
The majority of survey respondents plan to visit the Eco-Depot to bring in household recycling only. Respondents indicated they will bring in household garbage far less often, which is not surprising, as the Village of Cache Creek, the Village of Ashcroft, Bonaparte Indian Band, and Ashcroft Indian Band all provide garbage collection to their residents.
It is therefore expected that most customers going to the Eco-Depot will only be dropping off household recycling, which will make the site different to most of the other Eco-Depots in the TNRD, where the majority of customers come in with both garbage and recycling on a regular basis. The design and layout of the new Eco-Depot will take this situation into consideration.
The Campbell Hill Drive East location is approximately the same distance off the highway as the existing Transfer Station. However, the location has better access and is more conveniently located than Campbell Hill Drive West, primarily because it has a fairly flat access road, and because the road will not be shared with commercial landfill traffic. The site would still require people to drive along a 1.5 km gravel road.
Access to the site is from the Trans-Canada Highway, and there are appropriate turning lanes in both directions to exit the highway. This site is closer to Cache Creek and further from Ashcroft, in comparison to the Boston Flats site.
Should the TNRD not be able to purchase the Campbell Hill Drive East property, the Boston Flats site has been designated as the alternate location.
To read the full report, go to https://bit.ly/31ZlMbN.