Town council to tour organic waste facility

Having heard through the grapevine that the Town of Lake Cowichan is looking into the possibilities around organic waste collection, Fisher Road Recycling Inc. owner David Laing appeared as a delegation during the town's Tuesday, June 14, committee meetings.

  • Jun. 20, 2011 7:00 a.m.
Fisher Road Recycling Inc. representatives Frank Lockerbile and David Laing

Fisher Road Recycling Inc. representatives Frank Lockerbile and David Laing

Having heard through the grapevine that the Town of Lake Cowichan is looking into the possibilities around organic waste collection, Fisher Road Recycling Inc. owner David Laing appeared as a delegation during the town’s Tuesday, June 14, committee meetings.

The proposal behind Laing’s presentation is for the town to divert organic waste toward his organic waste collection facility. Homeowners would be provided two plastic bins, including one for the kitchen and another for the curbside pickup.

One limitation is the town’s lack of an organic waste collection truck, though Laing said that his company can provide pickup arrangements, the details of which would have to be worked out.

Laing invited mayor and council to go on a tour of his plant, which they agreed to do at some point in the near future.

During his presentation, Laing spoke to the controversy surrounding odour that has plagued his organic waste collection facility.

“We are always moving to rectify that,” he said. “You’re never going to have a perfectly smell-proof facility.”

With thousands of dollars put into smell-filtering equipment, he said that things have improved drastically in recent months.

Another controversy is related to inflated nitrate levels at a Fisher Road Recycling Inc. composting plant at 1355 Fisher Road in Cobble Hill.

A request made to expand the facility was shot down by the CVRD last year, due to nearby groundwater nitrate levels jumping from 10, as measured in 2002, to slightly over 17.

During the June 14 meeting, Laing suggested that the CVRD’s denial of his expansion was related to the CVRD-run Eco Depot.

After Laing’s presentation, councillor Tim McGonigle asked if a 30 to 40 per cent diversion of waste is a realistic side-effect of organic waste collection.

“It really depends on how the general public embraces the project,” Laing answered.

“Education is the key component,” McGonigle said, in agreement.

A date for a tour of the facility has yet to be set, though mayor and council were in agreement that it would be a worthwhile option to investigate.