The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) announced on December 8 that the Cache Creek landfill, operated by Wastech, will be closing sooner than anticipated.
The landfill was originally scheduled to close on December 31, with the TNRD stepping in to operate the residential drop-off (RDO) at the site as of January 1, 2017. The TNRD has also constructed a tipping pad for municipal waste at the site.
“The TNRD had to scramble a bit” following the change in closure date, says Jamie Vieira, manager of environmental services for the TNRD. “But we will make it happen.”
The TNRD will be operating the RDO as of December 16. Municipal waste from Cache Creek, Ashcroft, the Bonaparte Band, and the Ashcroft Indian Band will continue to be taken to the site, where it will be unloaded on the tipping pad and then loaded into roll-off bins, to be transported by the TNRD to its Heffley Creek landfill north of Kamloops.
“To meet the December 31 closure date for the landfill, we had to stop taking waste from TNRD Area ‘I’,” says Janet Tecklenborg, director of environmental services for Wastech. “This gives us time to be able to do that.”
She notes that many different operations need to be carried out at the site according to the closure period plan. This includes covering the landfill with 25cm of topsoil and hydroseeding it; making sure the ditches are in good shape; and digging 30 wells for groundwater remediation, which are tied in to the gas utilization plant at the site. The plant generates 4.8 megawatts of electricity, and will continue to operate after the landfill closes.
“We’ve been very busy at the site,” says Tecklenborg. “We’re hopeful that we can get the last work done.”
Residents using the RDO will see few changes at the site, except that they will now have to pay for the drop-off of some items starting on January 1. Vieira says that there will be no charge for the drop-off of recyclable items (including tires off rims, household appliances except for refrigeration/freezing units, and yard waste). Winter hours will remain the same, with the RDO open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Payment for the drop-off of non-recyclable items cannot be made at the site by cash, credit cards, or debit cards. Instead, users who will have to pay disposal fees will need to purchase a pre-paid punch card called an Eco-Card, which is available in $10, $20, and $50 denominations. The Eco-Cards are now available at several locations in Ashcroft and Cache Creek, including (in Ashcroft) the village office; Safety Mart; and the Esso Travel Centre on Highway 1; and in Cache Creek at the village office; Junction Shell; and the Husky gas station.
Vieira adds that not all retailers will sell the $50 Eco-Cards. “It’s up to the retailer to determine what they will sell. Most people tend to buy the smaller increments.”
He says that commercial users, or those who anticipate paying more than $50 per year for waste disposal, can contact the TNRD to set up a charge account. “It’s generally for businesses, such as construction or plumbers, but you don’t have to be a registered business to get a charge account.”
The TNRD will be informing customers about the fees to dispose of items at the Cache Creek RDO, and what items will incur fees. The site does not have a scale, so loads will be charged based on volume. Anyone who anticipates generating a large volume of waste—because of, for example, the demolition of a building—is asked to contact the TNRD in advance to arrange for disposal.
For more information, including what you can recycle without charge, contact the TNRD at 1-877-377-8673, e-mail email@example.com, or visit the TNRD website at www.tnrd.bc.ca.