TNRD consolidating solid waste sites

Sally Watson

Sally Watson

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s (TNRD) Regional Solid Waste Management Plan (RSWMP) developed over the past four years is now being implemented.

All but 18 rural area transfer stations throughout the TNRD are slated to be closed. Originally, there were 32 waste disposal sites in the region.

TNRD Area E (Bonaparte Plateau) Director Sally Watson says the end result is less than half of the waste disposal sites will remain open, as some landfills are also being downgraded to transfer stations.

“It’s quite an extensive cutback in service from the TNRD.”

Some of the TNRD transfer stations are located in the South Cariboo geographical area, including Eagan Lake, Big Bar and Loon Lake, she notes.

“The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is working on its Solid Waste Management Plan, so it’s probably a really good time to wake up the residents there to what could happen if the wrong ideas get followed up. This could happen to you, too.”

The Eagan Lake transfer station, located 20 kilometres southwest of Bridge Lake, is slated for closure in two or three years, Watson explains.

“This year, they’re going to upgrade it, put a gate on it and an attendant, and then close it in a couple years. None of it makes any sense.”

The Big Bar transfer station was closed two years ago, and she notes the transfer station at Loon Lake has already been improved and is also on the list to be closed.

TNRD environmental health services manager Don May says 18 sites is the goal, but this doesn’t include some new sites being built.

By 2012, he adds, three of the five active landfills will be replaced with new, larger transfer facilities, called “eco-depots,” at Clearwater, Louis Creek and Pritchard.

The primary focus when people get to the eco-depot is in recycling and reduction, May notes, with multi-material recycling at the front end and waste disposal at the back.

“You’ll have a complete, one-stop drop [hopefully] for all your computers, paint, tires, batteries, used oil – everything.”

These eco-depots will also consolidate the waste from the transfer stations that are closing, May explains.

TNRD chair Peter Milobar says the TNRD’s significant cost reduction on solid-waste transport will keep property taxes down and offset extra costs some residents may incur travelling to the new sites.

He adds the improvements being made at these transfer sites are being done to meet provincial requirements for adhering to the approved RSWMP standards.

May says the TNRD never planned to close the Eagan Lake site soon, but adds a decision won’t be made until it goes to the board sometime down the road.

However, Watson says that since the site remains on the closure list, now is the time to protest, because once it goes to board, it will be “much harder to stop that final ball from rolling.”

A community meeting on the planned closure of Eagan Lake Transfer Station has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 12 at Free Rein Guest Ranch in the main guesthouse, 16 km southwest of Bridge Lake Store on Eagan Lake Road.

For more information, call Ruth Robinson at 250-593-4792 or e-mail ruro@telus.net.

May notes that representatives from the TNRD plan to attend the meeting.