Organic waste transfer station to be built in Chilliwack

It's the next step Chilliwack is taking toward organic waste diversion which will be in place by 2017

Building an organic waste transfer station at the Bailey landfill is the next step toward curbside organics collection in Chilliwack. A design/build proposal for $3.64 million from Titan Construction/Morrison Hershfield Engineering was accepted at Tuesday's city council meeting.

Chilliwack is steadily chugging toward organic waste diversion.

It’s something that residents often request.

Next up is the construction of an organic waste transfer facility at the Bailey landfill.

A design/build proposal to build the facility for $3.64 million from Titan Construction/Morrison Hershfield Engineering was accepted at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

City of Chilliwack is also out to tender right now for a new garbage collection contractor, with the new residential curbside collection contract expected in place by next April.

So things are a little in flux, and changes are in sight.

“Everyone can expect in 2017 that we’ll have a brand new waste collection system ready to go,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “We are working hard to ensure we get a good deal for the people of Chilliwack.”

Curbside collection of organics, or food waste, is something residents have been consistently asking for from Chilliwack council.

“The more we can take out of the waste stream, the less methane we have to deal with,” said Gaetz.

There are a few details to iron out. Officials still have to decide of the type of waste containers they’ll be using, either automated or not, and if organic waste will be picked up at the same time, or not.

The transfer station would accept organic waste from residents and businesses in Chilliwack and possibly from surrounding areas like Electoral Areas of the FVRD or District of Kent and Village of Harrison Hot Springs, before the waste was transferred to a processing facility.

The quantity of organics could be anywhere from 7000 tonnes to 30000 tonnes per year. It will depend on if it’s limited to single family homes and duplexes, or if multifamily housing will be included, with commercial waste, considering the potential population growth for the region.

The preliminary engineering design for the Bailey Landfill Organic Waste Transfer Station envisions a 900 sq. m. building; made of fully enclosed concrete (or comparably robust) structure, with odour and leachate control.

The price came in a bit higher initially but the lead proponent, and city staff were able to reach a compromise, by delaying some modifications to the existing landfill infrastructure to make the bid inline with budget limits.

There were plans to modify the existing waste off-load area for accepting drywall, yard waste, clean soil, concrete, and asbestos but that was put off for a future budget to reduce the proposal cost down to $3.64 million, given that the 2016 budget had $3.7 million earmarked for the transfer station.

The city hired Krahn Engineering to complete a “value engineering audit” on the Titan proposal to ensure there was value for money, and the answer was yes, that the proposal “in-line with the typical  construction cost for a project of this scope and in-line with today’s market pricing.”

The  price audit found that the Titan proposal was about five per cent below Krahn’s estimate, which “provides assurance from an independent third party that the City is receiving value for money,” said the staff report.

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