Composter under fire again

Foundation Organics charged with offences from ongoing odour issues

Foundation Organics in Central Saanich is charged with bylaw infractions after complaints were made about odour emanating from the compost facility.

CENTRAL SAANICH — Once again, Foundation Organics and Stanhope Farm are being called out for odour problems stemming from their compost operation on Lochside Drive.

On Thursday, Dec. 19, the Capital Regional District charged the business with new public nuisance offences under the Composting Facilities Regulation Bylaw.

A media release from the CRD stated the new charges stem from odour issues in September of this year as well as a noted increase in odours in early December.

Back in August, the facility’s licence was conditionally suspended following the issuance of a number of warning notices for odours from the CRD.

“At that time, the CRD conducted a hearing with the facility operator and after careful consideration of all parties’ concerns and views, it was determined that the Foundation Organics facility was non-compliant with Bylaw 2736 and the terms of its Recycler Licence,” said the CRD’s release.

Despite the conditional suspension, the CRD says there has been a significant increase in composting process odours detected beyond the facility’s property boundary over the past several weeks.

Following an appeal from Foundation Organics in October, the licence suspension was upheld and is now under judicial review with the B.C. Supreme Court.

As of Oct. 25, the facility was also directed to remove any remaining compost in the building at the facility.

In November, the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) released a report on the operation that deemed it was operating outside of allowable farm use and that it was in contravention of the Agricultural Land Commission Act.

Included in the report was information detailing that the 40 hectare property (34 hectares of which were available after use for access roads and farm buildings) was only ever capable of having 2,125 tonnes of compost applied to it, not 5,000 as the operation had originally stated, and that the excessive amount of compost being applied to the land would result in high nitrogen content in the soil.

A decision on the B.C. Supreme Court judicial review is expected early in the new year.

— With files from the CRD

 

 

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