The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) will have to pick up the tab if an operational certificate for the extension of the Cache Creek landfill is not approved.
So says TNRD Chair, and Cache Creek Mayor, John Ranta, who is hoping that a visit to the area by provincial Environment Minister Mary Polak on March 21 will encourage the province to speed up approval of the certificate.
Belkorp, the owner of the current landfill, has indicated that it will start shutting down the operation in the summer of 2016 in order to vacate the site by the end of the year. The Villages of Cache Creek and Ashcroft, as well as their residents, will be able to continue depositing waste there until December 2016; but what happens after that depends on whether Cache Creek is able to get the certificate that will enable them to start using the extension, which has been excavated and is waiting for a liner to be put in.
If the certificate is approved soon, then the liner could be put in over the summer and the extension would be ready to pick up the slack before the current landfill closes. If not, then the TNRD would have to install an Eco-Depot at the site, at the cost of $1 million. The Villages already pay the TNRD to deposit waste at the site, but the change would mean that private haulers, such as residents dropping off household or yard waste, would be charged.
“There’s a list of projects awaiting approval by the Ministry,” says Ranta, “and the last time I saw the list we were number 25.” He’s hoping to impress upon Polak the need to apply sufficient staff resources to get the certificate approved quickly. “It would allow the first phase of the extension to start accepting refuse before the landfill closes.”
Ranta also wants to impress upon the Minister that the double composite liner planned for the extension will make what they’re building in Cache Creek “the best, most environmentally-sound landfill for municipal waste in all of North America.”
In addition to the $1 million to build an Eco-Depot at the Cache Creek site, the TNRD would be paying $500,000 per year to transport the waste from the western portion of the region to the landfills at Heffley Creek or Lower Nicola.