Residents near the Hartland Landfill are concerned the Capital Regional District’s plans to expand it will interfere with the integrity of surrounding communities and natural areas.
Elaine Klimke moved to the Willis Point neighbourhood – bordering the landfill – in 2015 and said being surrounded by nature and being in a quiet area was a selling point for her.
The CRD is developing a new Solid Waste Management Plan to guide how the region will manage waste in the coming years. The plan looks at ways to extend the life of the Hartland Landfill beyond the year 2100 by reducing waste, reusing/recycling materials and considering future landfill design options.
Enhancing the capacity of the landfill by expanding the disposal area is also part of the CRD’s plans to extend the landfill’s life.
Expansion options worry Klimke.
“It impacts the people that live out in Willis Point and also the people that live in the Highlands and the hikers going up Mount Work or down to McKenzie Bight,” Klimke said. “All those people using those areas are going to feel those impacts.”
Rock removal – which has been taking place at the landfill for many years – will continue as part of the expansion. Trucks using the automated scale will be directed to use Willis Point Road to access the landfill in the future as it is a safer route compared to Hartland Avenue which has steep and narrow sections. About 80 trucks per day would be moved from Hartland Avenue to Willis Point Road.
Klimke said a Nov. 12 open house held by the CRD at the Willis Point Community Centre grew heated, with about 100 residents in attendance. She said residents were wondering why another landfill isn’t created elsewhere in the region instead of expanding the current one.
“It’s definitely not lining up with our community plan at all,” Klimke noted, citing a section that says “it is a fundamental principle of the community plan to maintain the integrity of surrounding greenspace and associated environmental features.”
Klimke said the community is also concerned about the mountain biking trails in the area.
According to the CRD, most mountain bike trails are in Mount Work Regional Park, but a portion of them currently cross the Hartland Landfill property with the understanding that the land would be needed at some point. The CRD said it is working with the mountain biking community to develop alternate trails.
Russ Smith, senior manager of environmental resource management said the CRD met with the mountain biking community and discussed temporary trail closures of about one hour per day and never on weekends to allow for blasting starting in 2020. Longer term trail closures would occur no sooner than 2030, Smith said, and the mountain biking community will have input into new trail locations.
Learn more and give feedback at crd.bc.ca/project/management-plan.