Landfill is disaster waiting to happen

Writer puts pen to paper after attending the Ministry of Environment's public meeting to present its report on the fly ash in the landfill.

Dear Editor

The Cache Creek Landfill is got to be one of the best kept potential environmental disaster secrets of all time, or at least one of the best examples of non-stewardship of the ecology.

In the past, the fly ash produced from burning waste at the Burnaby Waste to Energy facility was commingled with the regular landfill (not good). Then to guard against toxic leaching, they separated it, and stabilized fly ash, which is treated with lime to lock in the heavy metals, was placed in an area that also was membraned for an extra layer of protection.

In the summer of 2012, 1,800 tons was dumped, then later, as the testing was behind the dumping, it tested positive for cadmium and lead inside the membrane. Ironically, in the past up to 35,000 tons was dumped commingled, with no testing outside the membrane.

So they come to the conclusion that the testing was faulty, and there’s no worry for us in the future concerning leaching heavy metals (how convenient).

So they’ve shut down that part of the landfill, and now, everyday they drive a truck full of toxic (stabilized) fly ash to a facility in Alberta. The fuel it takes to drive there and back everyday, would no doubt produce almost the same amount of electricity as what is produced, producing toxic waste.

The remainder of the Cache Creek Landfill is scheduled to close in 2016, at which the whole Landfill will be capped and fenced off for eternity.

Conclusion: the Burnaby Waste to Energy Facility, should be renamed the Burnaby Waste to Wasteland Facility.

Not unlike the Tar Sands, it has a negative net energy bottom line, meaning it uses more energy than it produces, while producing toxic waste.

To all the wonderful people in Cache Creek and Ashcroft, thank you for storing all our crap that we produce in the Fraser Valley, so we can keep all the jobs and economy of the Province, right here in the lower mainland.

Hopefully, Wastech will create a budget for future maintenance, security, and possible future leech repair, from commingled ash and anything else that might be in there that no one knows about.

Art Green

Hope, BC

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