RDN seeks organic waste facility

RDN seeks organic waste facility

Regional District of Nanaimo explores joint venture for proposed project

Staff at the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) are looking into a joint venture for a long-term organic waste processing facility.

The RDN board directed staff to negotiate with the joint venture for a long-term contract for organic waste processing and report back to the board with recommended contract terms. The board also approved up to $50,000 — which was already worked into the financial budget — to be allocated from the Solid Waste Services budget to undertake financial, legal and due diligence activities with the negotiations.

Larry Gardiner, Solid Waste Services manager, presented at last Tuesday’s (March 28) regular board meeting.

Gardiner said the current owners of Nanaimo Organic Waste (NOW), which is part of the joint venture, is proposing substantial capital upgrades to the facility and an increase in processing rates. He also said the upgrades will increase capacity, reduce leachate and odour, and create a higher-quality organic compost.

“Because of the amount of plastics we collect, it doesn’t have a high value in terms of cost,” Gardiner said. “What they propose to do is with the changes, they’ll actually produce a high-value compost that is marketable.”

Gardiner said the RDN is currently paying $130 per tonne for food waste processing and $48 per tonne for yard waste processing.

The joint venture, Gardiner said, also includes waste treatment technologies from a European-based company with a “goal to invest in companies with sustainable values.”