A waste-to-energy plant in Stavenhagen

A waste-to-energy plant in Stavenhagen

Four sites unveiled for new Metro Vancouver waste incinerator

Port Mellon aboriginal land, as well as south Vancouver join Nanaimo and Delta as possible sites for new waste-to-energy plant



A closed-containment coho salmon farm on land. Heat flowing to an existing pulp mill. And a pharmaceutical algae farm to soak up captured carbon dioxide.

That’s all part of Aquilini Renewable Energy’s vision for “eco-industrial” uses that would be paired with a garbage incinerator it wants to build for Metro Vancouver on Squamish Nation land at Port Mellon, across Howe Sound.

Aquilini’s is one of four prospective waste-to-energy plant sites unveiled Thursday that Metro will consider further.

The only other site not previously made public is one in south Vancouver at the foot of Heather Street, near the Oak Street Bridge.

The Vancouver site has been advanced by Plenary Group even though Coun. Andrea Reimer noted the City of Vancouver has banned mass-burn incineration within its city limits.

The other two sites – previously reported by Black Press – are one at Duke Point near Nanaimo, where proponent Wheelabrator/Urbaser would barge waste across the Strait of Georgia, and Delta’s Lehigh Cement plant, which proposes to burn garbage that it would first dry and process into refuse-derived fuel.

Several of the nine bidding firms already short-listed by the regional district appeared before Metro’s zero waste committee Thursday morning to outline their proposals.

The regional district wants to burn an extra 370,000 tonnes of garbage per year – in addition to the 280,000 that now goes into its existing Burnaby incinerator – as part of its strategy to end trash shipments inland to the Cache Creek Regional Landfill.

The sites unveiled today are strictly the ones proponent firms are advancing for their exclusive use, subject to negotiations and local government approval.

Six more have also been proposed but are being kept secret while Metro decides whether to option them for lease or purchase.

They arose from a separate call for potential sites that allowed any land owner to propose their property for consideration.

A private individual, company, municipal or aboriginal government, or senior government, had the chance to advance sites under that process and they are to be made public in the new year.

That would potentially allow Metro to discard a proponent’s proposed site, if it proves problematic, and instead match that bidder up with a new site from the second list ahead of further short-listing and a final round of bidding in 2015 by two or three remaining proponents with fully fleshed proposals.

Several bidders that didn’t submitted their own secured site proposal could also be paired with any of the yet-to-be-revealed non-exclusive sites.

Metro Vancouver is under orders from the province to fairly consider both in- and out-of-region sites in light of air pollution concerns from Fraser Valley residents.

Most of the proponents aim to build mass-burn incinerators, but say their proposal is state-of-the-art compared to many  conventional burners in the world.

A couple of firms propose other technologies such as gasification.

Covanta Energy, operator of Metro’s existing incinerator, has filed two separate proposals, for either mass-burn incineration or gasification.

Covanta vice-president Chris Baker said gasification offers lower emissions than conventional incineration but the process can be harder to control.

Lehigh Cement spokesman Jasper van de Wetering said burning waste in the existing cement plant would result in no net additional air emissions in the region, because waste would be offsetting the normal use of coal or tires as fuel.

He said there would be no ash to landfill either because it would be used in the cement product.

The Aquilini proposal, paired with the salmon farm and other business ventures, is the most unusual, claiming to make beneficial use of virtually all emissions.

Proponents were questioned by some Metro directors Thursday on how their incinerators will perform if Metro succeeds in diverting much more combustible material for recycling.

Metro solid waste general manager Paul Henderson said current estimates indicate that while easy-to-burn wood and plastics might come out of the waste stream, so would hard-to-burn organics, resulting in no huge change in the heat value of garbage to be burned, or the resulting performance of a new plant.

Metro promises public meetings near each proposed site and says a final project proposal will undergo intense scrutiny, including a provincial environmental assessment and a public health assessment.

If approved by the province, a new waste-to-energy plant or plants could open by 2018, at a cost expected to be at least $450 million.

FVRD opposed to burning plan

Fraser Valley Regional District politicians say they remain opposed to Metro’s incineration strategy, saying it will degrade air quality downwind in the funnel-shaped valley.

“In spite of our attempts at imploring Metro Vancouver politicians for meaningful consultation, our fears have come to fruition – have chosen the most antiquated and ineffective method to eliminate their region’s garbage,” said FVRD board chair Sharon Gaetz.

“It is unfortunate it has come to this but as we move forward, FVRD will pursue all options available to us, including but not limited to, a legal challenge to prohibit the construction of another incinerator in order to ensure protection of residents, future generations and nearly half of the province’s food source, grown in the green Fraser Valley.”

Gaetz instead urges Metro to pursue an advanced materials recovery facility that she said would be much cheaper.

Such plants are increasingly in use in countries that have turned away from incineration, she said.

“Burning garbage is not a twenty-first century solution.”

A waste-to-energy plant in Stavenhagen, Germany is listed as a reference facility by engineering firm Aecom to indicate how a new Metro incinerator it hopes to build would perform.

Just Posted

Jean-Pierre Antonio
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read