In response to a new coastal clean-up initiative, the Alberni Valley Landfill and West Coast Landfill will be introducing a six-month pilot project that will set reduced tipping fees for coastal debris.
The province announced on April 28 that several Vancouver Island organizations will receive funding to deal with derelict boats and shoreline debris along the entire B.C. coastline.
One of these groups, the Coastal Restoration Society, will receive $2.55 million to clean 200-400 kilometres of shoreline on Vancouver Island’s west coast, including the removal of nine derelict vessels.
“Keeping our coastline clean is a priority not only for those of us fortunate enough to live here, but for all British Columbians,” Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne said in a press release on Wednesday. “I’m thrilled to see another project coming to the West Coast of Vancouver Island that does just that, and that also provides jobs for our region that people can feel good about.”
Jenny Brunn, general manager of community services with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD), told the ACRD board on Wednesday that district staff have worked with Coastal Restoration Society in the past, as most of the coastal debris ends up at the Alberni Valley and West Coast landfills.
According to Brunn, an effort is made to sort the material so that recyclables are removed and diverted from the landfill, but this is not always possible.
“There’s quite a bit of material on the coastline that needs to be dealt with,” said Jenny Brunn. “We’ve been trying to divert and recycle a lot of rope and netting and other materials. When these projects come in, they can come in quite mixed.”
The ACRD has proposed six-month pilot project that will set a rate of $175 per tonne for coastal clean-ups that will allow loads with recyclable and banned materials to be landfilled without additional fines. Loads that have had divertible materials removed will be charged at a lower $160 per tonne tipping fee.
“We’re hoping to set up this rate to see if we can streamline the process,” said Brunn.
She anticipates more clean-up projects coming down the line. “Which is good news,” she added. “Because it does do a lot of benefit to the environment.”
A report sent to the ACRD board on Wednesday estimates that the volume of material that will be received during the pilot project is around 250 tonnes of material. The project will result in an estimated $35,000 to $40,000 in revenues at the landfills.