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No to compost plant

Glenval Organics CEO Gary Nickel makes a call outside the Township of Langley council chambers Monday. The mayor and council unanimously voted against endorsing his controversial compost plant. - Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
Glenval Organics CEO Gary Nickel makes a call outside the Township of Langley council chambers Monday. The mayor and council unanimously voted against endorsing his controversial compost plant.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

Opponents of a proposed composting plant won a victory Monday when the Township of Langley council unanimously voted against the Glenval Organics project.

Glenval was asking the Township council to refer its application to the provincial Agricultural Land Commission for permission to operate the compost plant under non-farm-use regulations.

Council not only refused to forward the application, it voted to inform the commission it doesn’t endorse the proposed composting facility at 25330 88 Ave. because it is too close to area homes.

“It doesn’t belong here,” said Councillor Charlie Fox.

It would be better located near to the Aldergrove waste transfer station, he added.

Fox complained Metro Vancouver has set a goal of eliminating recyclable waste without a clear strategy to accomplish that goal and that is provoking a wave of uncoordinated applications to build compost plants.

“What we need is planning,” Fox said.

Others said much the same.

“There are better places,” said Councillor Bev Dornan.

“Surely to goodness, with your expertise, you can find a location,” Councillor Steve Ferguson told Glenval Organics CEO Gary Nickel, who was sitting in the audience.

“The whole neighbourhood came out and we have to listen,” Councillor David Davis said.

“Our citizens have to be happy,” said Councillor Grant Ward.

Before the vote was taken, there was a rush of last-minute delegations from area residents opposed to the project.

“A compost site belongs in an industrial site,” said area resident John Crocock.

“It’s an industrial process.”

Engineer Malcolm Swallow warned about the “Cream Sponge Effect” that can occur when heavy compost is pile don top of the already-contaminated soil on the site.

“You press on the top and cream [leachate] comes out,” Swallow said. “This is just the wrong site.”

Council does not have final say over whether the project will proceed.

The decision comes less than two weeks before Metro Vancouver is expected to rule on the company's application for an air quality permit.

 

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