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Savings found at future resource-recovery site in Powell River

Innovative approach makes for natural solution
IMPORTANT PROJECT: Manager of asset management and strategic initiatives Mike Wall, along with Let’s Talk Trash team member Tai Uhlmann, have been busy working at the resource-recovery centre site adjacent to Marine Avenue, where the region’s solid waste management program will be coordinated. An innovative solution to stormwater runoff at the site has been found, saving $700,000 in the process.

An innovative and cost-effective solution has been found to manage stormwater at the Marine Avenue site designated for the resource-recovery centre for the region’s solid waste.

At the February 17 qathet Regional District (qRD) finance committee meeting, directors reviewed a report on the Marine Avenue landfill closure and related works. Electoral Area E director Andrew Fall said in the report, there was a description of a natural asset solution that retained nearly half a hectare of forest and incorporated natural assets into the stormwater management design, allowing preservation of some forest onsite and saving $700,000 from an engineered solution.

Instead of spending $850,000 on a man-made engineered solution, to deal with the stormwater, the natural asset solution cost qRD an estimated $150,000.

“All I can say on that point is well done; carry on, it’s fantastic,” said Fall.

Fall asked if the project is generally on track financially.

Manager of asset management and strategic initiatives Mike Wall said it is approximately $30,000 under budget for the work that has been completed.

“Things are working out so far,” said Wall. “We are getting through the major part of the project with the most unknowns, which was all of the excavation. The goal is to remain on budget.”

City director CaroleAnn Leishman said she wanted to thank staff for thinking outside the box and going above and beyond.

“This is an incredible natural asset so this is exactly the kind of thing we’ve been talking about for years, trying to implement these kinds of things,” said Leishman. “It’s an excellent example, and the fact that it has saved that much money is great.”

City director and finance committee chair George Doubt said it was a pleasant report to read.

“It’s nice to read reports that have positive surprises in them,” said Doubt.

Wall, in his report to the finance committee, stated that the resource-recovery centre to be located on the remediated landfill site on Marine Avenue is a key deliverable within the 2017 solid waste management plan.

Providing an update of progress, Wall indicated that the second stage of the project is 90 per cent complete. Remaining outstanding work entails excavation and screening of an estimated 6,000 cubic metres of incinerator ash.

In terms of the third stage, the resource-recovery centre detailed design is 33 per cent complete for the structure that will be built at the old incinerator site.

Wall stated that in terms of the stormwater management at the site, working with the consultant, qRD staff had concerns when reviewing the proposed engineered stormwater design for the landfill closure due to high costs of man-made infrastructure and tree removal. Wall stated that staff put together a team of local professionals to lead the redesign of stormwater management from the landfill closure mound, saving approximately $700,000 by incorporating the surrounding forest as a natural asset in providing stormwater management service.

“Although this natural asset solution saved an estimated 0.4 hectares of forest, approximately 0.1 hectares had to be removed,” Wall stated. “The merchantable logs were sent to a local mill to be milled into lumber for the resource-recovery centre facility buildings.”

To view videos on the project, go to

Wall stated the detailed design phase for the facility is underway and staff anticipate building tenders to be out in the summer of 2021. He added that the financial plan identifies in excess of $4 million for phase one construction, which includes site preparation, remediation and landfill closure.

Cost to date for the project works is $2,275,638.68. Wall stated that the project is on budget and the new facility is on track to be commissioned in mid to late 2022.