Central Saanich residents vow to Stop the Stink

Opponents of a composting facility in Central Saanich embark on letter and email-writing campaign.

Some residents of Central Saanich are banding together to raise their voices over a figurative cloud of odour coming from a local composting facility.

Stop the Stink was formed recently and 20 people met Tuesday morning in the Tanner Ridge subdivision to start the steps necessary to organize the disparate pockets of opposition to the current composting facility in the Martindale Valley. Spokesperson Ray Baker says Stop the Stink was formed about two weeks ago and have been approaching people like him and his wife, as well as other informal groups dealing with the same issue, to get organized. Baker said he thinks the numbers of people involved will grow through this effort.

The issue stems from the Foundation Organics compost facility in Central Saanich, operating for the last two years. At the beginning of August, the Capital Regional District suspended its contracts to deliver organic waste to the facility, citing sustained public complains over odours from the site. the CRD stated their contracts make up around 30 per cent of the facility’s volume. Alastair Bryson, mayor of the District of Central Saanich and chair of the CRD, told the News Review that the CRD’s actions are a  step in the right direction. The District has been investigating the facility and the ongoing odour complains as a bylaw enforcement issue.

Foundation Organics has said they will be able to continue operating, thanks to waste brought to their facility by private businesses.

Baker said Stop the Stink’s efforts in writing letters and emails and getting information out about the problem, should help make it clear to both levels of government that people want change. While concerns over odour top the list of complaints, Baker said people worry about the value of their property as a result, as well as perceived health effects of the smell. He admitted he’s no expert in that topic and suggested it’s time the Vancouver Island Health Authority looked into the health effects of compost odour.

Baker said the CRD’s decision is a move in the right direction. He added he hopes the issue will spark discussion about responsible composting. Baker said to him, that means having the CRD take over compost operations in the region, ideally at the Heartland landfill.

“Right now, composting is driven by profit margins,” he said. “If the CRD does it, it could take longer and they could make sure it’s done properly.”

The Stop the Stink group, he continued, is working on a new website and they plan to tighten up the flow of information, while facilitating people making official complaints to the CRD, Central Saanich and the Agricultural Land Commission.

“My feeling is they are starting to realize the magnitude of this whole problem, ” Baker said. “They are certainly feeling the heat.”

— with files from Devon MacKenzie/Peninsula News Review

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rotary Club of Victoria-Harbourside president Angus Macpherson visited the Wear2Start Society boutique in Victoria to present a cheque to the society’s vice-president Alessandra Ringstad (left) and president Angela Mangiacasale. (Courtesy of Wear2Start)
Rotary club donates over $11,000 to Greater Victoria non-profit for women

Wear2Start Society provides clothing for women in need

Adrienne Rogers (LPN) and Tracy McConnell (RN) on the Victoria Hospice Unit. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Hospice)
Victoria Hospice bereavement counsellors dealing with a tsunami of grief

Last year, Victoria Hospice provided end-of-life care to more than 1,000 people

Paddles sit stacked and ready at a rowing regatta on Elk Lake in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria junior girls rowing team nabs first in national Row to Tokyo challenge

Young Victoria City Rowing Club members row more than 2,250 km

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Funding boosts restoration efforts for Vancouver Island’s Garry oak ecosystems

Habitat Acquisition Trust will take on several Garry oak ecosystem restoration projects

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Most Read