- BC Games
Coast Environmental opens doors Thursday to its various recycling and treatment facilities
Coast Environmental opens its doors publicly tomorrow so folks can see the array of stuff they’re recycling and treating in Chemainus’ industrial park.
The 2 to 3 p.m. open house and tours include a question period when citizens can ask about the firm’s planned recycling operation — needing Cowichan Valley Regional District permit – to take construction wastes, cardboard, and paper at a half-acre site.
“We do the sorting and recycling for you,” said Coast’s Dan Lazaro. “You back in and it’s our job.”
That waste facility will complement its others, including North America’s first building-contained kitchen-waste composting operation.
Coast’s fuel-contaminated soil remediation facility — B.C.’s first to be totally covered — can also be seen.
But perhaps Coast’s most controversial operation is its non-covered, septage transfer station some Chemainiacs — especially workers in nearby businesses — suspect is a source of a sickening stench.
“It’s a horrible smell,” said Sam Godkin of Thermoproof.
“It fills our whole building, and we can’t get rid of it,” she said of the embarrassing odour greeting customers. “There’s got to be containment.”
Lazaro wants that kind of feedback Thursday.
“We want to be as odour-tolerable as possible, so we’d definitely look at (containment),” he said of Coast’s septage transfer facility boasting a bio-filter between trucks and tanks.
“We investigate odour complaints. You can never be odour-free, but odour-manageable.”
But Lazaro believed his firm gets a bum rap from folks claiming Coast causes the stink. He cited area farm-manure lagoons.
“People interpret odours differently.”
The problem, said a CVRD agent and North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure, is pinpointing the stench’s source.
Some of Coast’s odours come from composting piles, an email to a local resident from CVRD environmental technologist llse Sarady explains.
Coast received, then dealt with, recent CVRD odour warnings concerning an oversize pile, Sarady says.
“Regardless of the source or situation, the CVRD agrees no one should have to experience such foul odours for any extended duration.”
Lefebure agreed, noting other stench culprits.
“We’re pretty sure there’s been some overlap with manure spreading on farms,” he said, adding investigating complaints can sniff for sources.
Given recent stench issues, council amended its zoning bylaws to yank future composting firms from industrial zoning, without applying to council, he said.
Still, Janice Gowanlock of nearby Profab called the stink “absolutely atrocious,” demanding Coast be closed or ordered moved.
“We don’t have the ability to shut them down,” Lefebure said.
“There are no provincial regulations dealing with odour. Objectionable smells would almost be impossible to measure and regulate — it’s very similar to noise issues.”