Central Saanich compost bylaw isn’t about agriculture

Central Saanich resident fears a new compost bylaw could turn farming into industrial waste processing

Virtually everyone, especially in Central Saanich is pro-agriculture. This is the heritage of our municipality and we all have to eat, right? But now let’s be a little careful about what we call agriculture.

Central Saanich is currently considering a bylaw amendment to enable large scale food waste composting on agriculturally zoned land.  The current bylaw allows composting, but requires the composted material to be used on the farm to benefit the soil.  This is a reasonable requirement which also limits the scale of the composting operation on any given farm.

Let me give you one specific example of what the amended bylaw would do. A former dairy farm on Lochside Drive has already built a large composting facility on its agriculturally zoned property.  This amendment would enable them to completely change their farming operation to an industrial scale waste processing facility. They would then be able to truck in ever increasing amounts of waste, process it on site and truck the finished product off site for sale. All of this will occur right along Lochside Trail and bring with it noise, dust, odour and safety concerns for local residents and trail users.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. This is clearly industrial processing, not agriculture and this does not benefit agricultural land which is the intent of the current bylaw.

Please consider this decision very carefully as it is precedent setting.  We are 25 year residents of Central Saanich on Lochside Drive and are fully supportive of farms and farming practices.

Please keep your current bylaw as is and protect your citizens and real agriculture.

David and Michele Bond

Central Saanich