Hope transfer station now open

The facility is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., throughout the summer

The new transfer station in Hope is now open

The Hope transfer station is now officially open under the operation of First Class Waste Services.

Effective Wednesday (Aug. 13), the new summer hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Residents will also no longer be required to bag their green waste in favour of a plastic container. Green Waste decals to identify these containers are available for free at district hall.

“The transfer station provides long-term cost savings for the municipality, a cleaner environmental report, and has helped us build relations with our First Nations partners,” said Mayor Susan Johnston. “It’s a huge success and it’s one of the biggest accomplishments that the District of Hope has made.”

With only 10 years left in the site’s life-span, and years of controversy due to environmental concerns, the landfill’s closure was imminent. In early 2013, council approved the construction of a transfer station by JJM Construction Ltd. and granted the four-year operations contract to First Class Waste Services. However, in response to public feedback, council decided to undertake a request for proposals for the operations contract this year. Chief administrative officer John Fortoloczky said there were no responses, and as a result the district reverted back to the original plan.

“An idea was sought upon by one of our consultants, identifying the opportunity to use JJM Construction Ltd. in P3 (public-private partnership) format, where work in kind valued in the neighbourhood of $4 million would establish the closure,” he said. “So instead of the taxpayer paying to close the landfill and improve leachate treatment, that would be highly subsidized by JJM. They took inert material from a Burnaby site and they transferred here to Hope and they filled up the airspace. We were also able to establish a storage plateau at the top which will save taxpayers we figure approximately $160,000 a year in storage for clean fill and other materials that we need for public works. Right now we have to pay to get that hauled away and disposed of.”

The primary goal of the transfer station was to stem leachate pollution, as directed by the Ministry of Environment. The site is located on land with a steep slope toward the Fraser River, and adjacent to First Nations land on the downslope.

The site began as a “crude dump site” similar to those found in many small towns across the province. The district has run the site since amalgamation, taking over operation from the regional district.

The leachate treatment pond encroached on Union Bar land. In 2009, the Ministry of Environment sent the district a non-compliance notice. It cited issues such as lack of cover, lack of cells, excessive litter, poor surface water and ineffective leachate treatment. The leachate treatment system has since been improved.

“We have two new ponds, a wetland, and new aerators,” said Fortoloczky. “We also had water running through the garbage from the south side and we’ve now diverted that water around to the backside so that it actually mixes now with the leachate and dilutes it. Since the leachate treatment system has been running as of Christmas 2013, all tests indicate we are in full compliance with environmental specs.”

The landfill was costing taxpayers approximately $400,000 per year to operate with an additional $175,000 per year set aside annually into a reserve for future closure costs. Those funds can now be diverted to other infrastructure projects.

There is no change in the level of service to commercial and residential collection as a result of the transfer station. Self-haul material can still be dropped off at the former landfill site, but residents will now be required to sort their garbage into bins. Waste will then be hauled away at the expense of First Class Waste Inc. and sent by rail to the Roosevelt Regional Landfill in Washington State.

The transfer station project saw two cost increases from the original estimate, which Fortoloczky said were funded by reserves already set aside. An additional $350,000 was added to cover costs associated with required changes to the design of the leachate treatment system, and changes in design to the transfer station. In addition, the storage plateau on top of the closed landfill cost an additional $38,911.39.

The official grand opening of the transfer station is set for Sept. 4.

Just Posted

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

Agassiz Community Gardens hoping to find new home at old McCaffrey school

The society has been looking for a new location since its previous gardens were sold in October

RCMP asking for public input in upper Fraser Valley

Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison and Hope residents can share their thoughts on local policing

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read