Fisher Road Recycling Centre in Cobble Hill looks to double compost

The Fisher Road Recycling Centre wants to double the size of its operations.

The Fisher Road Recycling Centre wants to double the size of its operations.

Owner Dave Laing has submitted applications to the Ministry of Environment and the Cowichan Valley Regional District that would see the facility double the amount of compostable materials it receives each year, from 18,000 to 36,000 tonnes.

Tauseef Waraic, the CVRD’s manager of recycling and waste management, said a major concern of having more recycling materials come to the facility is the increased odour.

But he said the centre is proposing to compost all of the materials indoors for the first time, with the aim to dramatically reduce the smell from the facility.

“The project needs to receive a permit from the ministry after it discloses all the details of the plan to ministry staff, and only after that is successful would the CVRD consider it,” Waraic said.

“In the meantime, the recycling centre is posting notices of its plan in the local newspapers and has placed a notice at the entrance of the facility.”

The facility has been providing full-service organics recycling in the Cowichan Valley Since 2005.

It collects composting material from households, institutions and businesses, including restaurants and grocery stores.

Matteus Clement, the director for Cobble Hill on the CVRD, held a community meeting on Dec. 2 to discuss the expansion project at the recycling facility.

He said the approximately 40 people in attendance asked a lot of questions, particularly around increased odours, if the expansion plan gets the green light, and impacts on local aquifers.

“There was a lot of frustration expressed at the meeting,” Clement said.

“[The facility] is proposing a massive increase in the amount of recyclables coming in there, and people had a lot of questions about it.”

Clement said he plans to have another meeting in which CVRD staff and representatives from the recycling facility will be in attendance to deal with the issues and ask questions.

“I think we need to do more research to be properly prepared for the next meeting,” he said.

“One positive aspect of the proposal that I can see is that all the composting would be done indoors, and that should go a long way to deal with odours from the facility.”