Incinerator process stopped

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, December 15 2015

There will be no incinerator built at Duke Point, at least not by Metro Vancouver in the forseeable future.

In a press release issued this past Thursday, December 10, Metro Vancouver staff explained that the procurement process to find a site and construct a new incinerator was being stopped due to uncertainty around future waste volumes and continued reduction in residual waste.

Protests against the incinerator were held through the latter half of 2013 and in to 2014 - residents of Gabriola and the greater Nanaimo area were against a new incinerator being built on Duke Point to service Metro Vancouver’s needs.

“Metro Vancouver remains committed to waste-to-energy as the most sustainable technology solution for deriving benefits from residual waste after all efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver. 

“Given our collective achievement in recycling and waste reduction, the timeline for requiring additional capacity has been pushed forward by several years, enabling us to scale-up over time based on a growing population and predictable waste volumes.”

Metro Vancouver will still be continuing with the process of putting $30 million in to capacity, technology, and further emissions control upgrades in to its 25-year-old Burnaby-based WTE facility.

According to the Metro Vancouver release, internal and third-party analyses have consistently shown that waste-to-energy is the least expensive and most environmentally sustainable option for managing residual garbage over the life of a facility.

“The challenge with new waste-to-energy is that it requires a significant up front capital investment as well as predictable waste flow,” said Malcolm Brodie, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Committee. “Metro remains committed to continued progress towards Zero Waste as outlined in the Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan with the appropriate management of residuals”.

Howard Houle, Regional Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, and Decourcy) said, “Gabriola residents will be very pleased to hear about Metro Vancouver’s decision to not continue to consider Waste-To-Energy and to look at better recycling practice.”

In 2013, the Board of the Regional District of Nanaimo passed a resolution stating it does not support the building of an incinerator within the RDN.

Current RDN Board Chair Bill Veenhoff said, “All RDN discussions on the incinerator occurred under the previous Board so I cannot comment as to the RDN position as we have a new Board perhaps with new perspectives. 

“This said...the RDN residents and staff are leaders in the Province in diverting solid waste from the dump and we can all be very proud of our significant achievement in achieving a 70% diversion rate. 

“The volunteer community of Gabriola have had a significant positive impact on this and their efforts in running a recycling exchange is an outstanding example of how we can all make a difference.”