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Changes coming for controversial East Delta composting facility

GFL now has new fully-enclosed compost facility
Enclosed GFL compost facility in East Ladner
The licence amendment is to reflect the newly upgraded GFL facility and processes in East Ladner but does not change the types or quantity of material allowed.

A composting facility which had been the cause of angst for East Ladner residents for years, will have its regional district licence amended.

Delta council on Monday approved a staff recommendation for the city to support a proposal by GFL Environmental Composting to amend its licence with Metro Vancouver to reflect that it’s now a fully-enclosed composting facility.

The site has been the subject of numerous odour complaints over an extended period.

Staff noted there are no changes proposed in the amendment application to the types and total quantity of compostable feedstock allowed to be accepted for composting.

The current and proposed licence remains at 150,000 tonnes per year at the 72nd Street facility, while all components of the composting process are now within fully enclosed buildings that are under negative air pressure with all exhaust air being directed through a biofilter for odour treatment prior to discharge.

Screening of the compost also occurs within the building and the only activity that is now permitted outside is the blending of screened compost to produce topsoil mixes.

City manager Sean McGill said any request to amend the licence to add more tonnes currently permitted, or a change in materials, would need to go to council for approval.

A staff report notes that the number of odour complaints where GFL has been identified as the potential source are decreasing as the new facility completes its commissioning process, and that adjustments to the processes and control systems at the facility are continuing to ensure they are performing as designed.

Coun. Jeannie Kanakos during council’s discussion said she could still smell a foul odour while out for a recent walk in the area.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board is still reviewing of the appeals of the Metro Vancouver air quality permit by GFL Environmental and a number of area residents.

The staff report notes it’s expected a decision from the Environmental Appeal Board will be released in the coming months.