Incineration debate fizzles

Lumby Mayor Kevin Actor insists new opportunities for handling garbage are being missed.

One local politician insists new opportunities for handling garbage are being missed.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board has reinforced a mid-August decision not to pursue incineration as a way of managing solid waste at this time.

“It’s important that we keep moving forward to find a new way to deal with solid waste,” said Kevin Acton, who was among some directors who pushed for a study to proceed on incineration but was overruled by the rest of the board.

Vancouver-based CanKor Pacific first proposed plans for an energy-producing incinerator on Splatsin First Nation land, near Spallumcheen’s Hullcar area, in December 2010.

CanKor had offered to do a $100,000 to $200,000 feasibility study on incineration at no cost to the regional district. RDNO was only asked to provide staff to be involved in the process.

The company also asked that it be included in any request for proposals if the regional district decides to pursue an incineration project.

However, a majority of the board decided with staff in August that incineration would be a dramatic departure from RDNO’s current strategy, which includes recycling and the disposal of waste in landfills.

It’s been suggested that incineration could be considered as part of RDNO’s solid waste management plan review in 2016.

Acton admits that a decision has been made by his colleagues but he still believes the current position is short-sighted.

“We should be investing more into research on what we can do instead of just formulating a five-year plan,” he said.

“There are better ways of dealing with things (waste) than just burying it under dirt.”