Incinerator debate heats up

Regional District of North Okanagan staff want plans for an incinerator to go up in smoke.

Regional District of North Okanagan staff want plans for an incinerator to go up in smoke.

Directors will consider a report today that calls for them not to consider CanKor Pacific Waste and Energy’s incinerator for the Spallumcheen area.

“No new facts have been presented which would warrant further consideration of his proposal or a significant change in direction with respect to municipal solid waste management in the RDNO,” said Dale Danallanko, operations manager, in a memo of Hak Sung Lee, with the Vancouver-based company.

The first phase of the $100 to $200 million project could collect 400 tonnes of garbage per day at a site on the Splats’in First Nation.

Danallanko points out that incineration was not endorsed as part of a solid waste management plan review in 2002, and a current plan review is almost completed.

“A move towards waste to energy or incineration of solid waste management in the RDNO would represent a quantum shift in direction,” he said.

“There is no compelling reason, at this time, to initiate such a shift. RDNO’s recycling and disposal facilities have between 23 and 59 years of capacity remaining. The current solid waste management program is generally well received by the public and has been relatively successful.”

Director Mike Macnabb says considerable time has been spent convincing people to recycle.

“I don’t want people to have a mindset that they can just throw stuff out without sorting and recycling (for incineration),” he said.

“It would be a step backwards.”

Incineration wouldn’t completely eliminate the need for landfills, said Macnabb.

“Incinerators have a solid waste component. We would still need a landfill,” said Macnabb.

Director Dave Brew is not pleased with the staff’s recommendations.

“We have to look at all possibilities because the current cost of (landfill) operations is astronomical,” he said.

“We are budgeting about $400,000 a year to eventually close the landfills down.”

Brew also says that incineration is a proven technology for handling waste.

“These things are successful in Europe and they should be considered,” he said.

CanKor is seeking $10,000 from the regional district for a feasibility study for the proposed facility.


Vernon Morning Star