Burns Bog is the largest domed peet bog on the West Coast of North America and is vital to our entire region’s ecosystem. Over the last 40 years, it has been used as a landfill by the City of Vancouver although what they are now proposing is even more vile.
[City of Vancouver] proposes to deposit 85,000 cubic metres, or 8,500 dump-truck loads, of sewage sludge (they call it â€œbiosolidsâ€) from the Iona treatment plant onto the landfillâ€™s 12-hectare Phase One closure site. Vancouver has applied in writing to the Ministry of Environment for an amendment of its landfill operational certificate so the sludge from Iona can be used. It said shortages of regular subsoil approved under the original certificate led to its application to use the sludge. [The Province]
I completely understand that waste needs to go somewhere but this just seems excessive. It’s such a sensitive environmental area, which also happens to be surrounded by agricultural lands.
The sludge will be placed above a protective plastic membrane as part of a top layer of the siteâ€™s reclamation where trees, grasses, etc., will be planted. And despite elaborate ditching, thereâ€™s a significant risk that leaching from Ionaâ€™s sewage will alter the bogâ€™s delicate chemical balance and pollute Deltaâ€™s farm irrigation systems. [The Province]
Vancouver will not go ahead with the proposed plan for bio-solid waste just yet as Delta has already shown strong opposition. I’m not an expert in waste management, although I do remember growing up on the hill in Surrey where I could easily overlook two landfills (across the river in New Westminster and then next to the Port Mann Bridge). As I said, the sludge needs to go somewhere (and I suppose it’s going right into the ocean now) but proposing to dump Vancouver’s excremental waste in such a sensitive area just seems a bit ridiculous. Just imagine if Delta were to up and propose they truck their “bio-solids” into the middle of Stanley Park.