The Capital Regional District (CRD) has conditionally suspended Foundation Organics’ operation licence after the facility failed to comply to bylaws pertaining to odour emissions.
The suspension of the licence for the composting facility on Lochside Drive in Central Saanich was announced Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 20) and focuses on the acceptance of food waste at the facility.
“The suspension means the facility won’t be able to accept any new food waste until they address the bylaw issues, but they will be able to continue to accept yard and garden waste,” explained Central Saanich Mayor and CRD Chair Alastair Bryson.
The licence suspension follows contract suspensions with Foundation Organics by the CRD in the first week of August. At the time, the CRD stated that if the facility continued their non-compliance with CRD bylaws (namely bylaw 2376 which states that composting facilities must ensure they do not contaminate ground or surface water, or generate unacceptable levels of nuisance odour, vectors, litter or dust) it would result in action being taken to conditionally suspend the facility’s operations.
According to a press release, the CRD conducted a hearing with the facility operator on Aug. 16 which determined the facility was non-compliant with bylaw 2736 and terms of its recycler licence.
“I’m very pleased to see the CRD has taken this step and I hope the suspension of the delivery of food waste will allow the facility time to review its processes,” said Bryson, adding “I would like the CRD to ensure they have a high level of confidence regarding the facilities operation before they reinstate the licence.”
Foundation Organics applied for and received a licence from the CRD to run a compost facility on Stanhope Farm two years ago in June. Since then, the operation has been a point of contention for neighbours of the facility who say the smell, noise, traffic and dust stemming from operations have been unbearable.
Ray Baker, a next door neighbour of the property where Foundation Organics is located and member of both the Stop the Stink group and the Martindale/Hunt Valley Protection Association, said he is happy with the latest developments.
“From our perspective we’re happy,” Baker said. “I’m a bit concerned about the CRD issuing a suspension rather than a full cancellation but this is still a goal we’ve been working towards and I know our concerns have been heard.”
Mayor Bryson added that he had received correspondence from some residents in close proximity of the facility who were curious as to the health impacts of the smell and dust coming from Foundation Organics.
“We want those residents to know the District of Central Saanich has passed the concerns along to public health officer at VIHA,” he said.
Matt Mansell, manager of the Foundation Organics facility, would not comment on the licence suspension.