General Information

    Why is a composting facility needed?

    Organics currently make up about 30 per cent of the total waste that is landfilled within the Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service area. By removing organic material from the waste stream, we will extend the long-term life of our landfills. This will result in a smaller environmental footprint and, in the long term, provide the most cost effective approach for handling solid waste for the taxpayers.

    When buried in a landfill, organic material also produces methane gas, a key contributor to global climate change. Properly composting organic waste is an important step to sustainably manage waste in our region as it reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be associated with its decomposition.

    What is being built at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre?

    A new regional composting facility will be built at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre. Construction will be complete in 2021, enabling a phased introduction of organics collection for over 30,000 single-family dwellings in Campbell River, Comox, Cumberland and Courtenay.

    Why is food waste being composted together with yard waste?

    Collecting food and yard waste together at the curb minimizes the number of curbside pickups which helps reduce costs. In addition, comingled food and yard waste provides a better feedstock to the composting process. 

    What will happen with the organics that are collected?

    The composting facility will repurpose household food and yard waste into finished compost that can be used for agriculture and landscaping.

About the Facility

    How will the new facility be paid for?

    The overall project cost estimate is $15.5 million with $6.4 million expected to be funded by grants and the remaining $9.1 million by reserves.

    Why was this location selected?

    The Campbell River Waste Management Centre was determined to be the most suitable location because the site is zoned for heavy industrial use, has specific zoning for composting, has lower costs and is adjacent to fewer properties with a greater buffer between the facility and its neighbours.

    When will the new composting facility open?

    Construction on the new compost facility will begin in summer 2021 with phased in curbside collection over the winter and spring of 2022. The facility should be fully operational with organics programming in place in all participating communities by spring 2022.

Important Considerations

    Will neighbours be affected by the new facility?

    The facility will be a state-of-the-art facility that minimizes impacts to neighbours and the environment. We plan to not only meet stringent environmental and community standards, but we look to exceed minimum standards wherever reasonable to mitigate any impacts. The facility layout for Block J will reduce site disturbance and minimize potential impacts to neighbours.

    How will concerns about odour and noise be addressed?

    The successful management of odour is a high priority and a critical component in the design and operation of this facility. The capacity of the facility  will be built to meet peak volumes of potential food and yard waste. A purpose-built, properly sized facility can accommodate anticipated and excess volumes and is critical to minimizing odour impacts.

    To minimize the impact on residents, odours will be managed within our property boundary. The facility will be equipped with odour control systems and processing of organic waste will take place within enclosed buildings. Air will be treated on site using biofilter technology to substantially reduce odours.

    The proposed layout of the facility will also provide a buffer area between the facility and neighbours.

    What environmental regulations will this facility be required to meet?

    The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MoE) administers and regulates air quality issues, including odour issues, under the authority of the Environmental Management Act [SBC 2003] (EMA). The Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR) under the EMA, governs production, quality and land application of certain types of organic matter. The EMA and the OMRR are the two primary regulatory documents that govern odour management related to processing organics waste in BC as administered by the MoE.

    The new facility will also meet the City of Campbell River Public Nuisance Bylaw Part 8, which references methods for preventing nuisance odours from leaving the premises.

    Will traffic in the area increase once the facility is in operation?

    There are almost no roadway improvements required and traffic impacts will be minimal, as organic waste collection will integrate with the existing waste collection systems at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre. The main access to the site would be from Hwy 28, which will not affect most neighbouring properties on Argonaut Road.

    There are wells in this area. How will groundwater be protected?

    All composting activities will be completed indoors, minimizing impacts to groundwater and surrounding habitat. There will be no discharge to the environment during the composting process. Water use on site will be managed carefully and will not have an impact on groundwater quality or supplies.

    As part of the operation of the existing landfill, the CSWM service undertakes an extensive annual water monitoring program to provide an understanding of the groundwater quality. Groundwater monitoring reports are available at

    How will leachate and stormwater be handled onsite?

    The composting facility will have clear separation of areas where leachate is generated and areas where stormwater is collected and drained. Stormwater is all water that drains from structures, covered areas, roads (that are kept clean) and site areas that are not used for waste processing or storage.

    Water that comes into contact with organic waste at the facility will be collected and reused as part of the composting process. Excess water will be stored in a sealed tank and trucked offsite for treatment. There will be no discharge to the environment during the composting process.

    Clean storm water will be collected in an onsite management pond and re-infiltrated into the ground. Water use on site will be managed carefully and will not have an impact on groundwater quality or supplies.

    This site is next to a forested area with wildlife present. What plans are in place to prevent disruption of the species that are present in the area?

    The facility will be located on already disturbed land to avoid disruption to adjacent forested areas, natural habitat and wildlife. A wooded area will be kept around the facility to mitigate visual impacts.

    While some trees will be cleared on the site to accommodate the compost facility, responsible site planning and layout will retain the maximum amount of forest possible for habitat conservation and buffer purposes. The site will be developed during an appropriate nesting window for tree cutting.

    All delivery of compost feedstock and active composting will occur indoors to prevent birds from being attracted to the site. The site will be secured to ensure bears and other animals do not frequent the area and become a nuisance.