Compost stink not going away

Coun. Joyce Behnsen was unsuccessful last Wednesday in convincing her North Cowichan colleagues to help find a new location for the controversial Coast Environmental operation but she generated plenty of debate, something the waste management site has done before.

In fact, its stink has raised a stink among industrial park neighbours and residential property owners near enough to get wind of its sometimes-smelly compost-treatment efforts.

Behnsen called for council to “take steps to identify an alternative location” for the operation, which is now based beside the Trans-Canada Highway in the Chemainus Industrial park.

She also wanted to find some way the business could operate “with zero impact on the neighbouring community.”

Coun. Tom Walker warned, “This is a private company operating on private land. How can you move them?” He also pointed out that if Coast tried to move, it would involve transferring a lot of material to a new site.

Walker also raised another point: could council be expected to force other operations to move?

“Over the years I’ve had all kinds of people complain about the [smell of] the pulp mill. I’m having trouble sorting this out in my mind. I don’t know where this goes,” he said.

Coun. Kate Marsh went even further. “I question whether this is even legal,” she said. “At the moment they are legally there. Can council do this?”