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Waste transfer station goes for the gold

Church Road facility takes major step towards going green
MP James Lunney takes a tour of the Church Road transfer station

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s plan to upgrade its facilities to be more environmentally friendly has gone to the dump — or at least, the Church Road transfer station.

The station officially received the LEED Gold Certification for its 2011 retrofit, RDN chair Joe Stanhope said last week.

“This certification was a key goal of the Regional District of Nanaimo and we are extremely proud to achieve LEED Gold status with this facility,” Stanhope said at a ceremony to mark the certification on Friday. “This state-of-the-art transfer station manages the collection of garbage, organics and recyclable materials in the northern area of the RDN and is central to our long-term solid waste diversion strategy.”

The LEED gold standard outlines measures that can be taken to make buildings more environmentally sustainable. The transfer station got the certification for, among other things, creating  green roofs, with plantings of greenery on two of their buildings to regulate temperatures, a rainwater collection system and a heat pump system.

Funding for the $5.5 million upgrade came in part from a $2.75 million federal grant from the gas tax fund, so MP James Lunney was on hand as well.

“With this upgrade and expansion complete, Nanaimo region residents are benefitting from better service and reduced operating costs, while demand on the local water supply has lowered,” Lunney said. “Our government will continue to provide stable, predictable funding for local infrastructure improvements that create jobs and enable Vancouver Island communities to grow and prosper.”

Lunney said the achievement of the  top level of environmental sustainability for the transfer station is something worth celebrating, and this is the first transfer station in B.C. to achieve it.

Ron Cantelon, the MLA for the Parksville-Qualicum constituency, said the RDN has shown great environmental leadership in pursuing the certification.

“This is a small part of the entire program to become more sustainable in the community and reduce the amount of stuff we bury in the ground,” he said.