Metro Vancouver is taking more heat over its strategy to build another garbage incinerator, with a new study commissioned by waste firm Belkorp Environmental Services suggesting the move could cost up to $1.3 billion more than expected.
The analysis, conducted by ICF International on behalf of Belkorp, comes as Metro Vancouver attempts to take care of the province’s rejection of its proposed Bylaw 280, which was integral to the solid waste management program since it could have ensured garbage generated in Metro was retained in the area.
Belkorp, which runs the Cache Creek dump, has been engaged in a high-profile lobbying effort against Bylaw 280 also as Metro Vancouver’s plans to burn the area’s waste rather than landfill it. Metro is slated to shut the Cache Creek dump in 2016.
“We are still battling for alternatives that are better than the incinerator,” said Russ Black, Belkorp’s vice-president of corporate growth. “Irrespective of Bylaw 280, we still wanted to show the true expenses of the incinerator.”
The analysis, by ICF’s lead author Seth Hulkower, suggests Metro Vancouver significantly outperforming the earnings it would make by selling electricity from the new incinerator to BC Hydro within a span of 35 decades.
Metro had proposed it would seek to negotiate a price of $100 per kilowatt hour from BC Hydro, but Hulkower noted the waste-to-energy small business plan does not take into account the BC Hydro may correct the price it pays for electricity following Metro recovers it capital outlay on the undertaking.
Metro Vancouver chairman Greg Moore said he’s not surprised with the study’s findings, stating it’s a point that has long been argued by Belkorp.
But he said the analysis is premature thinking that Metro has at least 10 proponents offering distinct forms of waste-to-energy, including district heat and gasification, and there are several potential scenarios.
“They don’t understand anything about what we’re doing in our (request-for-proposals) procedure… all of them are not based on selling to Hydro,” Moore stated.
He added Metro has experience conducting a waste-to-energy plant, having done so in Burnaby since 1988, while Belkorp is considering establishing multi-material recovery centers and ensuring the dump continues to operate.
“They are persistent in pursuit of the schedule to continue to have garbage going for their landfill,” Moore stated. “Until this decision is made I don’t believe that they’ll stop.”
Belkorp already has a Coquitlam website where it suggests to build a facility to take a”last pass” at waste to remove recyclables such as organics, plastics, paper and alloys, a movement that would finally rob the area of sufficient substance to fuel another waste-to-energy facility.
Black acknowledged multi-material recovery centers directly compete with incinerators however say they make sense. “When you look at the selection of prices, there is some critical questions that have to be addressed,” he said.