A group of Valleyview residents has organized to state its concern with the Kamloops Resource Recovery Centre — dust, traffic, growth and the potential acceptance of asbestos-containing materials.
Francesca Brar, chair of the Valleyview Community Association’s Owl Road landfill subcommittee, said the group of six began meeting in May.
“In principle, it just seems odd that there’s a landfill in a residential neighbourhood,” Brar told KTW.
Residents had expressed concerns about the city-run facility at 400 Owl Rd. following a city neighbourhood meeting, prompting them to organize for research purposes. Residents want to better understand history of the facility, the city’s intent, what’s happening at the landfill, future plans and possible impacts on the neighbourhood.
The centre is the former Owl Road dump, a privately-owned landfill the city purchased from Daniel Ambrosi in 2016. Cost of purchasing the property and establishing the resource recovery centre was about $10 million.
Shortly after the recent meeting between the city and the Valleyview Community Association, the group learned the city is also looking to potentially expand the facility to accept asbestos-containing materials.
“With the asbestos, we are very clear it’s a big no,” Brar said.
The development community currently takes asbestos-containing materials to the Mission Flats landfill. However, the city expects the area at Mission Flats to reach capacity within 18 months and has identified the Kamloops Resource Recovery Centre as a potential solution. During a recent city committee meeting, it was noted the Kamloops Resource Recovery Centre would be more cost-efficient and have enough space to accept such waste for up to 15 years. Alternatively, a short-term solution could be found for up to eight years on Mission Flats road at a cost of $100,000 more that the Kamloops Resource Recovery Centre option.
The city said materials containing asbestos are contained, controlled, bagged and buried, with handling of the material, abatement, hauling and landfilling all regulated.
However, Brar said, it’s not enough, arguing the materials are toxic and hazardous.
“In principle, why are you doing it in a landfill that should have never been in a residential area?” she asked.
A Change.org petition online to reject asbestos at the Owl Road Landfill has attracted about 300 names. Brar said the group has yet to sit down with the city to hash out concerns, but gave kudos to staff for providing a recent tour of the facility and for being open to talk.