On December 15, the Ministry of the Environment issued an operational certificate for the proposed extension at the Cache Creek landfill. The step takes the extension closer to being built, but Cache Creek mayor John Ranta says that it is up to Belkorp Environmental Services—the parent company of Wastech, which operates the site—to decide if and when the extension will be built.
The operational certificate is subject to a 30-day review process, during which time comments and appeals may be made. “If the certificate is appealed, there are a couple of options,” says Ranta.
“The environmental appeal board can schedule a hearing to listen to the appeals, and can then decide whether or not to issue the certificate. Or they can issue a stay of the certificate, so that it is not in force until after the appeal hearing is finished.”
The site has been prepared, and is awaiting construction of a liner, and Ranta believes that Belkorp will want to wait and see whether or not any appeals are received before deciding whether or not to proceed. “If there is no stay of the certificate, I think they will feel comfortable purchasing the material for the liner and going ahead with work on it during the spring of 2017.” If that happened, the extension could be open by mid- to late-summer 2017.
Ranta says that the extension would once more be able to accept the waste from the western portion of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) that it was accepting up until the present landfill’s closure.
“The TNRD’s solid waste management plan is in the early stages of review, and that could result in waste coming to Cache Creek from other parts of the TNRD as well.” The extension would be licensed to accept waste from all regional districts, and Ranta thinks that might be an attractive prospect for areas which are currently sending their waste to a disposal site in Washington State. Given that the contracts are written in U.S. dollars, “That’s costing them a lot more now than when they started.”
The existing landfill, which has been in operation since 1989, stopped accepting garbage from Metro Vancouver in July 2016, and closed completely on December 15, with site closure activity continuing until the end of the year. The TNRD is now managing the residential drop-off at the site, which accepts residential and municipal waste from Cache Creek and Ashcroft.