Organics Composting Facility

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The Regional Ditrict of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is seeking feedback on a proposal to establish a new organics composting facility adjacent to the Campbell Mountain Landfill (CMLF).

The City of Penticton has committed to replacing their existing wastewater solids composting operation at Campbell Mountain. The RDOS is partnering with the City for an opportunity to build a facility that can compost the wastewater solids as well as food and yard waste organics.

Food waste and other organic materials account for approximately 40% of waste entering landfills in the Regional District by weight, and the RDOS Solid Waste Management Plan has identified composting as one of the best means to divert waste entering local Landfills.

The proposed composting operation would be located east of the CMLF at a site currently located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The new operation would be designed to accommodate up to 35,000 tonnes of organic materials per year and would include odour controls and paving the site to contain leachate.

Residents of the current Campbell Mountain Service Area (includes all or parts of Electoral Areas B, D, E, F, G, and I, City of Penticton and Village of Keremeos) are invited to provide feedback until October 2, 2020.

Your input will be shared with the Board at a future meeting as part of a decision on whether to support submitting the ALR Exclusion application to the Agricultural Land Commission for the purpose of constructing the compost facility.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the RDOS hosted an electronic town hall on September 30, 2020. The meeting provided an opportunity to learn more about the organics composting facility and ask questions. You can watch the meeting on the RDOS YouTube Channel.

Please see the News Feed below for a list of questions and answers from the September 30, 2020 electronic town hall meeting.

Register to receive updates and participate in the discussion.

Proposed Organics Composting Site

Wastewater Solids Composting Operation

The Regional Ditrict of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is seeking feedback on a proposal to establish a new organics composting facility adjacent to the Campbell Mountain Landfill (CMLF).

The City of Penticton has committed to replacing their existing wastewater solids composting operation at Campbell Mountain. The RDOS is partnering with the City for an opportunity to build a facility that can compost the wastewater solids as well as food and yard waste organics.

Food waste and other organic materials account for approximately 40% of waste entering landfills in the Regional District by weight, and the RDOS Solid Waste Management Plan has identified composting as one of the best means to divert waste entering local Landfills.

The proposed composting operation would be located east of the CMLF at a site currently located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The new operation would be designed to accommodate up to 35,000 tonnes of organic materials per year and would include odour controls and paving the site to contain leachate.

Residents of the current Campbell Mountain Service Area (includes all or parts of Electoral Areas B, D, E, F, G, and I, City of Penticton and Village of Keremeos) are invited to provide feedback until October 2, 2020.

Your input will be shared with the Board at a future meeting as part of a decision on whether to support submitting the ALR Exclusion application to the Agricultural Land Commission for the purpose of constructing the compost facility.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the RDOS hosted an electronic town hall on September 30, 2020. The meeting provided an opportunity to learn more about the organics composting facility and ask questions. You can watch the meeting on the RDOS YouTube Channel.

Please see the News Feed below for a list of questions and answers from the September 30, 2020 electronic town hall meeting.

Register to receive updates and participate in the discussion.

Proposed Organics Composting Site

Wastewater Solids Composting Operation

Please see the News Feed for a list of questions and answers from the September 30, 2020 electronic town hall meeting.

Ask your questions about the proposed facility

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    Please see the News Feed for a list of questions and answers from the September 30, 2020 electronic town hall meeting.

    27 days ago
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    If the proposed t facility can accommodate up to 35,000 tonnes of organic materials per year what is the current capacity? How long is the facility projected to be effective and what plans are there for future scalability?

    Picherack asked 29 days ago

    The current City of Penticton composting facility receives about ~8000 wet tonnes of wastewater solids (sludge) per year from the City of Penticton and the Okanagan Falls Wastewater treatment plants. Approximately 7,500 to 10,000 tonnes of green waste and wood waste is either composted with the City of Penticton or stored on site and allowed to degrade. Other materials received include seasonal fruit waste and pomace from the agricultural sector. Recoverable food waste coming to the Campbell Mountain Landfill is estimated at more than 6,000 tonnes per year. 

    Looking 20 years into the future, a common timeline for evaluating the life of a facility, approximately 27,000 tonnes of wastewater solids, green waste, wood waste and food waste is estimated to be received. This is due to increased population within the Campbell Mountain Landfill service area. 

    In terms of construction costs, it is much more economical to have a larger site than having to increase capacity as needed. The 35,000 tonnes of organic material is an estimate for public consultation. The final design of the compost site will be dependent on the materials that will received for the facility. 

    In terms of future scalability, the Regional District would conduct additional public engagement before areas outside the Campbell Mountain Landfill service area would be able to use the composting facility. This is a requirement of the Solid Waste Management Plan process. 


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    What guarantee do you give us about this project that it won’t affect the health of the environment regarding leaching and any affects on the surrounding area.As a former land owner of 1655 reservoir road and one of the five properties that was affected and the rdos was never able to give us a proper answer about a buffer zone so will there be a buffer zone. Will we have any knowledge about this? we do not want to be your neighbour again! You should not be able to use farm land for this project.We really don’t want it here. In 2002 we were told that the dump would be done in 30 years and no chance to protest, here we are doing the same again,we are only a few people.Why not use the land you have already destroyed.

    Kryzanowski asked about 1 month ago

    Composting sites and landfills in BC are regulated and overseen by the Ministry of Environment. The composting site being considered would be built above ground and placed on an impermeable layer. All liquids would be collected and recirculated onsite or transported off site for treatment. The Regional District currently monitors the groundwater in the area due to the landfill. The Regional District will review options to establish additional monitoring sites to test any changes in groundwater chemistry. Leaching of materials is strictly prohibited.

    Composting sites in BC are not required to have a buffer zone. Landfills in BC are required to have a buffer zone that considers proximity to other uses such as housing and parks. The buffer zone for the Campbell Mountain Landfill is 300 metres from existing or future refuse. This buffer has been mapped and a copy of this map is available by request. This 300-metre buffer is included in the City of Penticton Official Community Plan which is available on the City of Penticton website.

    The Regional District has completed several feasibility studies to place the composting site within the existing landfill property. These studies point to a location along Spiller Road. Some area residents voiced concerns about having the composting site in this location as it would be visible from the road. 

    The property located at 1313 Greyback Mountain Road offers advantages over building within the current Campbell Mountain property. Any composting site would be further from most existing and planned homes. The property would be somewhat hidden from Spiller Road. 1313 Greyback Mountain Road has flat areas that would allow for more cost-effective construction. These benefits are why the Regional District is considering placing the composting site at 1313 Greyback Mountain Road, and not along Spiller Road within the existing landfill property.


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    Please set up a food waste composting facility ASAP. PUSH hard and get it going. RDOS citizens have to join the 21 century to reduce waste in all forms. Thank you!

    Goldman asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your comment.

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    How can you collect leachate when there is no membrane under the landfill and it has 4 springs under or surrounding it?

    Willis asked about 2 months ago

    The compost sites being considered will be placed on impermeable surfaces allowing for the collection and use of all liquids onsite, or offsite treatment of excess liquids. The compost sites being considered are not permitted to generate any leachate. 

    When the Campbell Mountain Landfill was opened in 1972, it was designed to be a self-attenuating landfill. This is a landfill design that does not use a liner. 

    In 2016, leachate was detected outside the Campbell Mountain Landfill. Since 2016 the RDOS has undertaken multiple projects to reduce leachate including new drainage works that divert water around the landfill, a new leachate collection pond and multiple wells along the base of the property collecting impacted ground water. 

    Monitoring below the landfill continues in an effort to determine whether additional wells are needed to remove groundwater from the property. The City of Penticton is also starting to collect some leachate generated at their compost site at Campbell Mountain. 


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    Why did protest about the Marron Valley site result in the protested Campbell MT. Site being chosen? The current dump was slated to close in the 1990's. All people purchasing land in the area were told that. Is it reasonable to expand a leaking and outdated facility?- on a sidehill as well.

    Willis asked about 2 months ago

    Multiple properties were considered for the development of a Regional Compost site including one in the Marron Valley area. This property was brought forward for lease by a willing title holder. The RDOS Board voted against continuing to consider entering into a lease for the Marron Valley property in 2018.

    The City of Penticton has completed studies and community engagement involving options to upgrade the wastewater treatment composting facility at the Campbell Mountain Landfill property. Feedback gathered in 2018 indicated strong support from residents for establishing an organics composting facility for food waste. A 2019 study recommended introducing in-vessel composting, an enclosed environment which minimizes noise and odours for local residents. 

    Without purchasing a new property, a new compost site at the Campbell Mountain landfill would be built along Spiller Rd; either below or above the road, on land already owned by the City of Penticton. 

    In 2017, the RDOS held an open house with local residents. Many residents indicated they did not want to look at a compost site along Spiller Rd. The 1313 Greyback Mountain Rd property will help screen the composting facility by trees and the slope.

    The 1313 Greyback Mountain Rd property is flat, allowing for easier development of the compost sites than the existing Campbell Mountain property. The 1313 Greyback Mountain Rd property is large enough to allow for food waste composting and wastewater solids composting, whereas the existing Campbell Mountain property would be constrained along Spiller Rd. 

    The Campbell Mountain Landfill was not slated by the RDOS to close in the 1990’s. Presently, the Campbell Mountain Landfill is expected to close between 2103 and 2107. Significant upgrades are in progress to ensure all leachate is collected and the landfill meets the highest standards for landfills in BC. Further public consultation on the Campbell Mountain Landfill is anticipated in 2021 as part of an update to the RDOS Solid Waste Management Plan. 


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    You state that "Compost sites do not need to obtain an industrial waste discharge permit or air emissions permit in BC." However, as one example, the Greater Vancouver Regional District is issuing air permits to indoor and outdoor compost operations pursuant to Greater Vancouver Regional District Air Quality Management Bylaw No. 1082, 2008 and the BC Environmental Management Act, S.B.C 2003, c.53. Could you please clarify your statement? You also state that "The proposed compost site at Campbell Mountain will be ‘invessel’ which means the drop off of materials and active composting will be done inside a building. Nuisance odours from a compost site are attributed to fresh materials being dropped off and the active composting process. Being inside, all nuisance odours can be captured and treated." However, there are several indoor compost facilities for which $1000 penalties have been assessed for "Failure to keep door closed." What enforcement mechanisms do you have in place to ensure that there are not just penalties for violations that result in odours but will prevent noncompliance so that there are no odours? You also state that "In terms of a feasibility study done on building a new compost site, odour control consisted of a membrane sheet over the compost, negative pressure in the building to capture odours and bio-filters to treat the air collected. This methodology estimated a 70% reduction in odour..." Does this mean that 30% odour is already determined to be acceptable? What modelling or analysis will be done to determine the impacts of 30% odour on the surrounding community?

    Salamone asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your follow up questions. Please note that the present consultation is not on whether a compost site will be built in the Campbell Mountain area. If the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) cannot find a suitable property, a compost site will be built within the present Campbell Mountain Landfill most likely along Spiller Rd (above and/or below it). This land is already owned by the City of Penticton and leased by the RDOS. The present consultation is regarding the potential for the 1313 Greyback Mtn Road property to site the compost sites instead. The 1313 Greyback Mtn Road property would be much flatter and easier to develop and be screened by trees and the slope.

    In terms of your questions, the RDOS can only speak for RDOS facilities. If no options are found, the City of Penticton has stated they will upgrade their current compost site on the existing Campbell Mountain property along Spiller Rd.

    The RDOS has not considered issuing air permits and has not brought the idea of issuing air permits to public consultation. It may be considered. 

    The RDOS has considered facility licensing in keeping with the Local Government Act and the RDOS Solid Waste Management Plan. A draft bylaw to allow the RDOS to license private compost facilities dealing with food waste and waste water treatment sludge was brought to public consultation in January 2014. The RDOS did not adopt a facility license bylaw at that time as no private compost sites dealing with food or wastewater sludge were active in the RDOS. There are now two private compost sites slated for development south west of Princeton and the RDOS will again be considering private sector compost facility licensing.

    The project page for prior consultation on organic management facilities is here: https://www.rdos.bc.ca/public-works/solid-waste/organic-management-facilities/.  Unfortunately, due to a ransomware attack, the linked historic documents are not presently available for the time being on the RDOS website. If you e-mail publicworks@rdos.bc.ca we will do our best to make historic documents available.

    Please note, as this facility is intended to be owned by the RDOS, local governments would be exempted from facility licensing as the draft bylaw stands now.

    Any odour nuisance issue complaints would need to be addressed following a specific odour management plan. Compost sites should have a clear system for the public to register complaints including how their complaints will be responded to. The elected Board of the RDOS, including representatives of the City of Penticton, ultimately oversee any issues related to RDOS owned facilities. The Province of BC also oversees the operation of compost sites under the Ministry of Environment.  

    In terms of what constitutes acceptable odours, that is a key goal of ongoing public consultation. The present City of Penticton Wastewater Treatment Sludge compost site has no odour control. Our feasibility study showed a significant reduction in odour, estimated at 70% reduction, if a properly run invessel compost system is constructed. Placing the facility at 1313 Greyback Mtn Rd further limits nusiance odours by moving the facility away from the majority of existing and planned homes in the area. Other capital and operational upgrades can decrease nuisance odours and these will need to be considered in the design phase once a location is determined. 

    Examples of compost sites that have created problems are very easy to find on the internet as they make the news. There are many more examples of compost sites in BC that do not have problems. Compost sites that were designed to handle the volume of materials received, treat potential odour and are located well away from homes (often near landfills) are operating successfully across BC.

    The example technology used for the RDOS feasibility study is in use at Net Zero Waste Abbotsford http://www.netzerowasteabbotsford.com/. To our knowledge, including discussions with the City of Abbotsford, this site has not received any odour complaints.


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    Does containing leachate mean collecting it. If so, what do you do with it?

    Simpson asked about 2 months ago

    All liquids on the site must be collected to meet Provincial regulations. This is to ensure that no liquids can enter the ground to become leachate. This includes rainwater that may come in contact with fresh materials, materials actively composting or finished compost stored onsite. All compost sites must have a leachate management plan that would include impermeable surfaces and basins to collect all liquids.  

    Liquids will either be recirculated onto fresh compost or be transported to a wastewater treatment plant. Recirculating the liquids is preferred as less water is then needed for the facility.

    The compost site proposed for the Campbell Mountain area will be ‘invessel’ which means the drop off of materials and active composting will be done inside a building. This will mean less liquids to manage from rain and snow. Capturing clean rainwater from buildings is proposed. This clean water can be used at the compost site.

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    What are the specific odour control mechanisms that will be implemented at the facility ? Will any composting operations take place out of doors? What are the operational requirements imposed to ensure odour control? Will this facility receive an air emissions permit? A solid waste permit? Will groundwater monitoring be required? Under what regulatory programs will this compost facility operate?

    Salamone asked about 2 months ago

    Larger scale compost sites in BC are regulated under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR). This regulation determines the process a new or existing composting site must follow in BC.

    Compost sites must have a leachate management plan and an odour management plan. Leachate management plans are used to ensure no liquids are allowed to escape into the environment. This includes rainwater that comes in contact with fresh materials, active compost or finished compost stored onsite. Ground water monitoring stations set up around a compost site are used to ensure that liquids have not escaped.

    The odour management plan looks at ensuring nuisance odours are limited. It must take into consideration the homes and other uses around the facility.

    Compost sites do not need to obtain an industrial waste discharge permit or air emissions permit in BC.

    The proposed compost site at Campbell Mountain will be ‘invessel’ which means the drop off of materials and active composting will be done inside a building. Nuisance odours from a compost site are attributed to fresh materials being dropped off and the active composting process. Being inside, all nuisance odours can be captured and treated.

    Finished compost stored onsite is not a concern for odour. Finished compost must be stored inside or outside on an impermeable surface where any liquids must be collected.

    Final design of the compost site has not been developed. At this time the RDOS is applying to the Agricultural Landfill Commission (ALC) for use of 1313 Greyback Mountain Rd as a compost site. The RDOS will also have to rezone the property to allow for a compost site to be constructed. If approvals through the ALC and rezoning are received for the property then a final design can take place.

    In terms of a feasibility study done on building a new compost site, odour control consisted of a membrane sheet over the compost, negative pressure in the building to capture odours and bio-filters to treat the air collected. This methodology estimated a 70% reduction in odour as compared to the present City of Penticton Wastewater Sludge compost site at Campbell Mountain which has no odour control. This 70% reduction of current odour includes the additional composting of food waste at the 1313 Greyback Mtn Rd site.