(NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Regional district looks at plans for Alberni Valley and West Coast landfills

Current plans were created in 2012 and require updating

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District will be updating its master documents for the Alberni Valley and West Coast Landfills.

The Design, Operation and Closure Plans (DOCP) for both landfills were awarded to Sperling Hansen Associates at a cost of $95,268 during an ACRD board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

The current plans were created in 2012 and require updating, said Jenny Brunn, ACRD manager of operations. The province has created new landfill criteria, she added, and there are a few areas where the ACRD needs to improve its operations.

READ: ACRD receives $6 million for landfill

“Landfills are kind of complicated,” she said. “[The DOCP] tells us exactly how we’re supposed to operate it, how we’re supposed to monitor it and how we’re supposed to manage it.”

The DOCP also tells ACRD staff how to close the landfills. Based on the Alberni Valley Landfill’s current fill rate, Brunn says that the anticipated closure date is 2094, although the landfill’s life could be extended if the amount of waste being collected is reduced. But the ACRD still has to plan for its closure.

“Once we close it, basically we cap it, we make sure we’re collecting the gas and then we have to monitor it,” said Brunn. “There’s still garbage in the ground and we own it forever.”

READ: Fees increased at Alberni Valley Landfill for the first time since 1995

She added that the landfill’s lifespan could be increased “significantly” with increased recycling.

A Request for Proposals for updating the DOCPs was issued in November. Six proposals were received, all of which were reviewed and scored independently by a selection committee, and references were checked for the top three proposals. The plans have been awarded to Sperling Hansen Associates, based in North Vancouver.

“I can confidently say that we definitely have the best landfill engineer coming on board with us,” said Brunn.

The funds for the project were budgeted in 2019 through solid waste services and will be rolled over to 2020. Costs will be distributed $60,720 for the Alberni Valley Landfill and $34,548 for the West Coast Landfill.


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