Victoria residents across the street from a new waste-processing facility are voicing concerns over the amount of garbage that's coming off visiting cruise ships.
"I feel that most of the people in Victoria have no idea that we are taking all of the garbage from every cruise ship that comes in here," said Linda Klein, whose condo looks onto the facility.
The waste management service, Tymac, has been handling cruise ship waste in the CRD for two years, and has recently expanded to a new facility at Ogden Point. There, the company consolidates materials into various streams before shipping recycling to treatment facilities.
"We provide incentives for cruise ships," said Tymac vice-president Steve Hnatko. "We charge them more for garbage than we do for recycling."
Tymac says 90 per cent of what the company takes off the ships is recyclable, thanks to strict regulations in British Columbia, but it's the other 10 per cent of materials that's causing concern.
Hnatko says Victoria doesn’t have the same resources that are available in bigger cities like Vancouver. That means instead of being incinerated at a plant and being turned into energy, materials that can't be recycled are dumped at the Hartland Landfill in Saanich.
The CRD says during the cruise ship season, 150 tonnes of cruise ship waste is dumped at the landfill every month, and the cruise ship companies are charged $157 per tonne.
"Everyone is talking about being green," Klein said. "But is it green to take that type of garbage? I don’t think it is."
Tymac says it wants to see changes and is looking into the possibility of investing in a waste-energy centre for the island, a facility that the CRD says it's also interested in.
The CRD is currently updating its Solid Waste Management Plan and "investigating emerging technologies" is a strategy that is being considered, a spokesperson said.