The Regional District of North Okanagan is looking at how to manage solid waste. (ClipArt Fest photo)

The Regional District of North Okanagan is looking at how to manage solid waste. (ClipArt Fest photo)

More room needed for trash

Regional district considering whether the Greater Vernon landfill needs to expand

More people in the area translates into more trash, and that means it has to go somewhere.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is proceeding with a solid waste management plan and the process could determine if a Greater Vernon landfill expansion could ultimately proceed.

“The life is the existing site is 2034 and if we divert waste, it will last longer, but we need something in the wings,” said Nicole Kohnert, engineering services manager.

The existing permitted footprint for the landfill is 18 hectares and the total property on Birnie Road is is 63 hectares.

About 99 acres have been purchased next door and an area of 14 hectares could be developed for landfill.

“There’s a lot of rock on the site so it would require blasting,” said Kohnert.

“Do we want to go to the expense of setting up a new landfill?”

Government approvals for an expansion could take more than five years depending on consultation.

“The estimated life of the amalgamated footprints is 50 years. This of course depends on the population growth in the area, the disposal rate and the diversion programs implemented,” said Kohnert.

As part of the solid waste management process, a working group of RDNO officials and stakeholders will be developed.

“It will be an extensive review,” said Kohnert.

“We’re looking at a final report and approval of the plan in November.”