Long-discarded Ashcroft landfill plan formally rejected

Province's decision doesn't alter Metro garbage plans

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: Grade school students don’t have a voice during COVID pandemic

As adults weigh pros and cons of returning kids to school, is anyone asking kids what they think?

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read