CRD Directors to consider cheaper way of handling sewage sludge

Directors in the Capital Regional District are being asked to consider a cheaper way to handle sewage sludge, one that would see them turn away from integrated resource management -- or IRM.

IRM is the process of mixing biosolids from treated sewage sludge and mixing it with other materials like food scraps, resulting in a product that can generate power. But it's pricey, and requires guaranteed feedstock. And that's a problem because the region aims to achieve zero waste by 2050.

Now a proponent has come in under budget with a process that  doesn't require garbage, and simply dries biosolids.

Judy Brownoff -- The Chair of the CRD Environmental Services Committee says it just makes sense:

"And the provincial government will not guarantee that garbage created in region, stays in region. You don't have a guaranteed feed stock for feeding whatever it is. Right? You just don't have it.  And so by not doing it at this time and just focusing on the things we can do, which is creating a compost facility at Heartland and that sort of stuff,  it's going to save money. "

CRD Board Chair Steve Price says if the region doesn't need the IRM facility there could be many benefits:

"And so now we don't need a potentially $100-million dollar IRM facility right now, but what we could really use is a composting facility for our kitchen scraps. And that's been something

we've been trying to get for years. But it kind of got bogged down in the process with all of the other things going on. I think that's something the board is going to take a serious look at."

The new method is being recommended by Mayor Lisa Helps and CRD staff.


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