Incinerator bottom ash is once again being dumped at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta. Some loads had been held back after they initially failed testing for cadmium.

Incinerator bottom ash safe to dump, Metro Vancouver decides

Some loads from Burnaby waste-to-energy plant failed cadmium tests, 'chocolate chip phenomenon' blamed

Metro Vancouver now has approval to landfill bottom ash from its Burnaby garbage incinerator that had been set aside after some loads failed pollution tests.

Starting last spring, testing began to show some samples of bottom ash contained more than twice the allowed level of leachable cadmium for landfill disposal. Those loads were kept under tarps instead of being dumped at the Vancouver Landfill in Delta, as usual.

Metro solid waste general manager Paul Henderson said extensive additional testing found there were tiny bits of cadmium-containing material – mostly from incinerated rechargeable batteries – randomly distributed through the ash loads in what he calls a “chocolate chip phenomenon.”

With the provincial environment ministry’s approval, Metro staff used statistical analysis to conclude that the ash loads as a whole were within regulatory limits.

“In all cases, when you took enough samples and did statistical analysis of the samples, the material was determined to be non-hazardous,” Henderson said.

The waste-to-energy plant generates about five truckloads a day of bottom ash, or 50,000 tonnes per year.

Henderson said cadmium content in garbage is generally from rechargeable batteries, as well as electronic devices and toys containing rechargeable batteries.

“Those are all easily recyclable materials,” he said, adding Metro is planning more public education to get residents to return the products for recycling instead of throwing them in the trash.

Henderson said Metro is also convinced the incinerator’s fly ash, which the Cache Creek landfill refuses to accept after some failed tests in 2012, is also non-hazardous.

But since there’s no other viable destination in B.C., Metro expects to soon sign a new three-year contract to send the fly ash to an out-of-province special waste landfill.

That ash has so far been trucked to a landfill near Hinton, Alberta.

A consultant named by the province is still expected to make recommendations on what to do with the fly ash brought to Cache Creek in 2012.

Just Posted

Local Liberal MP Jati Sidhu says he forgives Trudeau for brownface photos

Sidhu says Trudeau ‘didn’t know any better’ and that photos will prompt discussion

Local Liberal candidate says ad showing him with Abbotsford police officer was ‘not acceptable’

Jati Sidhu said advertisement only appeared for 30 minutes and was created by Montreal company

Cache Creek councillor has committee appointments rescinded

Council also presented with need for roof repairs to Cache Creek fire hall

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

HUB Online Network finding its feet, documenting the region

New venture already has nearly three dozen videos up on YouTube channel

VIDEO: ‘Thrones,’ ‘Fleabag’ top Emmys

Billy Porter makes history as first openly gay black man to win best drama-series acting Emmy

Justice rules B.C. man gave statement of own free will

Defence wanted Vernon’s Curtis Sagmoen’s video interview with police deemed inadmissible

MEC and LUSH stores to close on Friday for global climate strikes

Retailers will be closed on Sept. 27 so that staff can march in demonstrations

Hybrid vessels part of B.C. Ferries’ plans to reduce emissions

Island Class vessels, coming by 2022, part of ferry corporation’s broader strategy

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Give severely addicted drug users injectable medical-grade heroin, guideline says

CMAJ article outlines best practices for innovative treatment that’s been lacking in overdose crisis

B.C. court hears disclosure arguments in Meng Wanzhou case

Huawei exec argues she was unlawfully detained at YVR last December at direction of U.S. authorities

Trudeau attacks Scheer, Harper, Ford in first federal salvo for Ontario

Liberal leader targets three big conservative rivals in second full week of campaign

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

Most Read