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.

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read