The concept of an incinerator consuming garbage has some Spallumcheen residents fuming.
More than 100 people jammed into the Hullcar Community Hall Tuesday to discuss plans from CanKor Pacific Waste and Energy for an energy plant.
“There’s definitely strong opposition. Nobody wants it,” said resident Paul Graham who organized the meeting.
“There are concerns about what it could do to our air pollution and people’s health.”
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.
“There’s a feeling that it doesn’t belong in this rural farming area,” said Graham adding that garbage trucks could increase traffic and damage roads.
The meeting is just the first step to protest the proposal by Vancouver-based CanKor.
“We’re hoping to get a stronger protest together,” said Graham.
“We want to put pressure on the Regional District of North Okanagan that people don’t want this and to stick to their current solid waste management plan (landfills and recycling).”
To be viable, the incinerator would require garbage from throughout the Okanagan-Shuswap and Graham hopes communities will consider the possible ramifications from burning waste.
“If we can stop a couple of municipalities from sending their garbage, we can stop the plan,” he said.
CanKor representatives made a presentation at Tuesday’s meeting and answered questions.
“We had a very productive session. We gave them information and how we wish to proceed,” said Hak Sung Lee, a company director.
Lee insists incineration would generate no significant impacts for the environment or health.
“There are 200 installations. It’s proven technology,” he said, adding that the type of burner has not been selected yet.
“We haven’t really determined the physical technology until we analyze the waste statistics.”
CanKor is asking RDNO to divert all of its garbage to the plant. It is also seeking $10,000 for a feasibility study.
“Until we get an official decision, we can’t really do anything,” said Lee.
RDNO staff are reviewing incineration and whether there is a need to shift away from landfills and recycling to handle waste.
“Whether we do a feasibility study will be up to the board,” said Herman Halvorson, RDNO chairperson.
Will Hansma, Spallumcheen mayor, was at Tuesday’s meeting at Hullcar.
“There are absolutely valid concerns. I’m concerned, I live in the Hullcar area,” he said.
“The regional district is looking at options. This is way in the early stages. The meeting was premature because there is nothing to talk about yet.”