LETTER: Landfill expansion will bring increased truck traffic

CRD making changes to Hartland landfill

When the CRD launched its public consultation regarding its 15-point strategy on solid waste management it focused on reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover as its main principles. Most of these strategies make eminent sense.

The final strategy, at the end of the document is labelled “Enhance Hartland disposal capacity.” Its subtexts mention “Review ban enforcement levels, subject to recycling market conditions; continue to operate Hartland Landfill using best practices; develop design options to maximize disposal capacity until 2100 and beyond; and continue to conduct research and investigate emerging technologies.” All quite benign to the untrained eye.

What most residents didn’t realize was that this was code for large-scale mining and quarrying at Hartland to dig a much bigger hole, in order to extend the life of the landfill from 2045, the date by which it is estimated it will be full if current disposal practices do not change, to the year 2100. Not only will there be blasting and quarrying, but unlike in the past, the aggregate removed will no longer be stored or used onsite. Instead it will be trucked from Hartland to projects around the region.

While the CRD has failed to date to provide any details as to how much rock will be removed, over how long a period or where it will be shipped to, a traffic study report that it commissioned estimated that rock removal would result in 12 trucks per hour (100 per day) each way using Willis Point Road. These heavy trucks will then trundle through parts of Saanich, possibly Central Saanich and other neighbouring municipalities, disturbing residents, causing excessive wear and tear on roads and emitting significant greenhouse gases. Indications are that this rock removal and shipping could last for years if not decades. The CRD has provided no information to clarify or contradict these estimates.

It doesn’t have to be that way. More aggressive waste reduction targets could be adopted, other measures like integrated resource management could be explored and alternate sites closer to the West Shore where most population growth is occurring, and thus where most waste growth will come from, could be established. Why blast a bigger hole into the side of Mt. Work, turning Hartland into the equivalent of a mine site and trucking rock off-site through Saanich while continuing to truck waste from the West Shore to Hartland? This is the least effective environmental and financial solution to the region’s long-term waste disposal challenge and puts a disproportionate burden on Saanich residents and other communities near to Hartland.

Hugh Stephens

Victoria

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

Just Posted

VicPD seeking help in recovering stolen scooter of B.C. Special Olympics athlete

The scooter was stolen from outside Hillside Mall on Sept.21

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

First fall storm expected to hit Greater Victoria tonight

Heavy rainfall, winds expected over the next several days

UPDATED: Crews contain fire to attic of Central Saanich home

Firefighters are responding to a structure fire in Central Saanich

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Vancouver Island family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Islands Trust Conservancy gets funding for protection of at-risk species

Conservancy manages habitat for more than 25 plant and animal species at risk

Most Read