Spallumcheen officials say they are being trashed over a garbage incineration plan.
Politicians and staff claim some residents are blaming the township for a proposed waste burner although the proposed site is outside of Spallumcheen’s boundaries and on First Nations land.
“Rumours are rampant,” said Mayor Will Hansma.
In one case, some residents have tried to link the concept from CanKor Pacific Waste and Energy to the township’s infrastructure activities.
“One person told me the reason we were rebuilding Salmon River Road was because of the big (garbage) trucks,” said Ed Forslund, public works manager.
The first phase of the $100 to $200 million project could collect about 400 tonnes of garbage per day at a site on the Splats’in First Nation near the Hullcar area.
“It’s outside of our jurisdiction and we don’t have a lot of control over it,” said Hansma, adding that the township has not taken an official stand on the proposal.
“There are some real concerns and we have to be aware of what the consequences may or may not be.”
Among the issues the township says must be looked at are the possible impact on the environment as well as large trucks using municipal roads.
Vancouver-based CanKor, which has some Korean funding, is asking the Regional District of North Okanagan to divert all of its garbage to the plant.
The company is also seeking $10,000 from RDNO for a feasibility study.
“Are we prepared to commit to determine for ourselves, whether this is something we’d want here?” said Hansma, adding that RDNO must also decide if it interrupts its solid waste management plan which is currently based on landfills and recycling.
Most Spallumcheen council members appear reluctant to embrace the incinerator at this point.
“We don’t know enough facts about it,” said Coun. Christine Fraser.
“Some of these process have been very successful in Europe but there’s a different environment and population here. We have to look at it,” added Coun. Dave Brew.
RDNO staff are currently reviewing whether the district’s existing solid waste management plan remains practical or if consideration should be given to an incinerator in the North Okanagan.