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Regional district board faces 'hard decision' to locate South Okanagan composting facility

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November 01, 2017 - 2:31 PM

PENTICTON - The establishment of a regional food waste composting facility in the South Okanagan will depend on the political strength of will now that two proposed sites have been turned down.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen solid waste coordinator Cameron Baughen says the facility won’t be built without that political will because any location will involve opposition from the public.

“We’ve studied this for some time and we need to ensure the board understands if they are going to look at locating a composting site, they have to realize it won’t be a simple process," Baughen says. "There will be people opposed to it no matter where it’s built, and if there is no political desire to see it through, we won’t be moving forward.”

The regional district wants to build a $15 million, state of the art composting facility, but the top two locations have been rejected.

There was strong public opposition to a proposed site on Marron Valley Road west of Kaleden due to concerns about odour and truck traffic.

Summerland council turned down the second prime location at the Summerland landfill last week.

Baughen says regional district staff are working to come up with other site options to present to the board, but there are no obvious choices. Six site options were originally considered and the two best have been shot down.

"If the (board) wants to remove food waste from the landfill, it won’t be a simple thing. It’s going to be a hard decision and directors are going to have to decide whether the benefits of food waste diversion from the landfill outweigh the political consequences of proceeding," he says.


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