Report of GlenVal Organics (Langley Township) info meeting on proposed composting facility, 16-Jan-2013

Here is an initial report of the Glenval Organics info meeting regarding a proposed composting facility, compiled from information received from participants of the meeting.

GlenVal Informational Meeting – January 16th, 2013 – Fort Langley Golf Course

Presenters:

  • Scott Temreck – business development manager, Glenval Organics, Ltd.
  • Gary Nickel – property owner
  • Rick Laird – Solid Waste Management, Metro Vancouver
  • Ray Robb – Air Quality, Metro Vancouver

 Township of Langley, Elected Officials:

  • Mayor Froese
  • Councillor David Davis
  • Councillor Bev Dornan
  • Councillor Kim Richter
  • Councillor Michelle Sparrow

Audience: There were approximately 160 participants as well as local media from the Langley Times, the Langley Advance, and Global TV.

Formal Meeting: The formal presentations by Metro and the proponent regarding their facility plans are summarized as follows:

1. Introduction

2. Facility Overview

3. Metro Vancouver

4. Question/Answer

SUMMARIES: 

Gary Nickel: The facility has applied for a green waste composting facility license through Metro which license does not currently entail food waste acceptance. The property and business is owned by Gary Nickel as is a “stand alone” facility. Concerns about former contamination on the site were dismissed by the owner who claims that local wells were not polluted by the former operator Oasis. He further advised that stream setbacks will be 3 times the legal requirement and that although they are situated on the floodplain that the upper portions of the sloped property have fill which makes it 13 meters above the 200 year floodplain level.

Scott Temreck: Mr. Temreck began his presentation with an aerial view of the property. He indicated that they anticipated that in Phase 2 they would be producing 48,000 metric tones of Class A compost annually. He explained the processes with respect to composting as mixing, composting, curing, and screening. The curing process takes approximately 60 days. The windrows (composting piles) can be a maximum of 12 feet. The compost will be automatically aerated with pipes and covered with organic material to reduce the incidence of odour. There will be 6 buildings in total on site. They anticipate the use of “pole barn style” buildings with the use of some asphalt surface as well as existing surface materials. The proponent is proposing to use electric motors to run the biofilters which are made of bark mulch. Any excess leachate derived from the composting process will be collected and stored until it is removed from the site.

Movement of materials to and from the site will be done by trucks with the number of truck trips related to the size of the loads. He estimated that between 14-16 truck movements per day would be necessary.

Ray Robb – Metro (Air Quality): Mr. Robb explained the Metro Vancouver process from a regulatory perspective advising that they are many aspects of the facility processes not covered by their purview, including such issues as non-conforming land use and enforcing zoning bylaws. He further explained that the Metro Board is guided by law and that the process for appeal of their rulings is the Environmental Appeal Board. He advised that the citizens should consider their concerns to Metro solely within the context of the Solid Waste Recyclable Materials Bylaw and Air Quality management. He added that enforcement is achieved through regular inspections, reviews, orders, and tickets as a graduated system to enforce compliance.

Mr. Robb expanded upon the Glenval application and advised that the materials to be composted would create relatively low levels of VOC’s and ammonia as compared to facilities such as the Richmond Fibre and Soil facility which processes food waste. He noted that as per the public meeting that the Air Quality Permit portion of the licensing requires public notification and that a permit will not be issued unless all relevant concerns are addressed.

Rick Laird – Metro (Solid Waste Management): Mr. Laird advised that the goals/guiding principles from the Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan was, in this instance, to regulate the private sector through licensing. The current application is to process 86% yard waste with 14% wood chips.

The solid waste license includes information and regulation regarding materials, equipment, operating procedures, monitoring and reporting, and financial security from the operator.

Questions/Answers

  • What other businesses does Mr. Nickel own? He owns Action Environmental which hauls sludge and had an unsuccessful venture recycling materials with a very bad odour that he no longer deals with.
  •  Noise? Fans to aerate compost would run 24 hours a day.
  • Size of neighbouring properties? A number of 5 acre lots in the vicinity
  • Will nearby property values decrease? – No clear response.
  • Smell? Odour cannot be avoided but it will be “minimal.”
  • What about former land fill on site causing run-off and issues for neighbouring properties? No clear response.
  • Risk of contamination of local wells? Claim they will not be affected.
  • Planning issues re: interface of composting facility with rural estate residents? No clear response.
  • What about any relationship of Glenval Organics with Harvest Power and other US affiliates? Denied there was any connection except some waste would be coming from the Richmond Fibre and Soil facility owned by Harvest Power.
  • Truck traffic? Proponents would be interested in working with the Township to take the proposed traffic out of the Fort Langley downtown core.
  • If Glenval Organics’ application (to process 86% yard waste with 14% wood chips) is approved, is there a chance they might subsequently apply for more – e.g., to process food waste or other materials? The proponent further advised that they were not particularly interested in food waste as other recyclers who process materials to generate methane gas (e.g., biogas operations) were eager to have these “richer” materials. Meanwhile, Metro staff indicated that Glenval would be able initiate another licensing process to expand operations if they wished to try.

 Topics not covered in the meeting

  •  In greater detail, what is the expected breakdown of sources of organic waste coming in, based on current internal discussions? Could the sources be expanded in the future to cover any and all municipalities in the Metro Vancouver region?
  • What are the current flows and volumes of organic waste being handled in the Metro Vancouver region? How will these change as legislation bans all organics from the waste stream in 2015? What are the future prospects for this site?
  • Who are the owners, principals, and executives of Glenval Organics?

 

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