Cobble Hill foes dump on compost expansion

Residents concerned about Fisher Road Recycling’s bid to increase the amount of organic material it accepts for composting are raising a stink.

Many of the 80 people who turned out for a public information meeting hosted by the Cowichan Valley Regional District on Monday, March 31 brought up issues with smell and the threat to well water.

The business, owned by Dave Laing, is located on Fisher Road near housing and a small commercial core that make up the centre of the rural community. Fisher Road Recycling has a contract to process kitchen scraps collected through Saanich’s green-bin program, which began last Tuesday. It has also been processing material from Victoria, View Royal, Esquimalt, Sidney and Oak Bay, but doesn’t have the capacity for their scraps now that Saanich’s program has started.

The CVRD received an application from the recycling firm to increase its licensed capacity of 10,980 tonnes to the facility’s design capacity of 18,000 tonnes annually. CVRD has allowed the facility to operate at the higher capacity on a temporary basis for the past six months.

A 45-day public consultation process ends April 18 and will be followed by a technical review. If the application is declined, Fisher Road Recycling will be able to appeal to the CVRD board.

Hubert Timmenga, who works for the Capital Regional District, Central Saanich and the Agricultural Land Commission, told the audience that recycling operations can cause odours when they’re improperly managed.

"In composting, it’s the facility and the process — they both have to be in tune," said Timmenga.

Some neighbours voiced concerns about high nitrate levels in the groundwater, but Fisher Road Recycling maintains those high levels had been in the area long before the company took over the site in 2006.

While Laing told the community earlier he would not accept biosolids (sewage sludge), he went back on his word in May 2013 "when he did a favour for a friend," said Timmenga.

In future, he said, no biosolids will be accepted.

Henry Vandermeulen of Verner Road is opposed to the trucking of recycling material from Foundation Organics to Fisher Road Recycling.

"It’s more logical for Saanich and the CRD to build their own facility at the Hartland Road landfill," said Vandermeulen.

Michelle Redfern lives a kilometre away from the recycling facility but has traced the smell from her home to the plant. "It’s awful, just awful," she said.

Doug Lockhart of Gallier Road said Fisher Road Recycling has successfully reduced the odours but the problem is far from solved. He expressed concern about biosolids being trucked over the Malahat to Cobble Hill.

"We really don’t want to be turned into an outhouse for Victoria," Lockhart said.

Comments on the issue can be sent by email to es@cvrd.bc.ca before 4:30 p.m. on April 18.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Queen Margaret’s School graduates celebrate

Queen Margaret’s School held their Speech Day (convocation) with 15 graduates on site

Community pride always showed in Mansueti’s work

Retirement reflections revolve around so many projects and successes

Cowichan Valley rower takes aim at the moon

The 14-year-old took part in the Row to the Moon Challenge

BLM sign vandalized at Sylvan United Church

Minister hopes to have conversation with vandal

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Victoria police investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

UPDATE: No COVID-19 at Nanaimo shopping centre as memo mixed up mall identities

Woodgrove Centre sent memo to tenants Tuesday advising them of positive case

Most Read