Long-discarded Ashcroft landfill plan formally rejected

Province's decision doesn't alter Metro garbage plans

Long-discarded Ashcroft landfill plan formally rejected

A provincial announcement that Metro Vancouver won’t be allowed to build a new regional landfill at its Ashcroft Ranch property appears to be largely a formality, coming about six years after the idea seemed dead anyway.

Metro’s board voted in early 2008 to give up on using any new Interior landfill and to instead try to build new waste-to-energy plants to burn excess garbage.

That decision came after the province in mid-2005 suspended the environmental assessment of the Ashcroft Ranch proposal in response to the threat of First Nation legal challenges.

Victoria announced Friday the Ashcroft Ranch environmental certificate is now being denied in part because the government approved Metro’s solid waste management plan this summer and it indicates no need for a new Interior landfill.

Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, who chairs Metro’s waste committee, said the region never withdrew the ranch landfill application in case it was somehow approved, as it would then offer another outlet for the region’s waste.

“There was never any intention to go in that direction,” he stressed.

An Environmental Assessment Office official said Metro never formally indicated it didn’t want to proceed, so the review process was reactivated after the solid waste plan was approved.

Moore said Metro will now likely sell the Ashcroft property, where it sank more than $10 million into property acquisition and other costs trying to get the landfill approved.

The issue still rankles many board members because the province swiftly approved a rival proposal in 2010 by dump operator Wastech to build a new regional landfill at Cache Creek, effectively a massive expansion of the existing site.

Metro had previously tried to do the exact same thing at Cache Creek, but was rejected about eight years ago.

“We were pretty shocked they could continue the operation across the street using the same technology and Metro couldn’t,” Moore said.

But he added the board thinks it’s Zero Waste strategy to greatly increase recycling will ultimately be a better choice.

A new Cache Creek landfill that may be built by Wastech could still be a backup outlet for Metro garbage if specific proposals to build in-region or out-of-region waste-to-energy plants are rejected.

Fraser Valley cities oppose more garbage incineration by Metro on health and air quality grounds.

Just Posted

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

(Unsplash.com)
Protecting our elders: It’s up to all of us to look out for them

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read