Three proponents submit for Comox-Strathcona organics facility

Composting project delayed but should still be ready by December 2021

The organics composting facility will be built adjacent to the current Campbell River Waste Management Centre. Black Press file photo

The region’s organics compost centre is a little behind schedule, though it’s still on track to be ready by the end of next year.

Staff for Comox Strathcona Waste Management – the body that manages waste for the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts — updated board members during a live-streamed board meeting on June 25.

The time frame had been to be ready for September 2021, though it is expected with some recent delays, the project will take about four months later than expected. It is to be ready by the end of December 2021.

“We will need basically feedstock from the four municipalities starting in January 2022,” Gabriel Bau, manager of CSWM projects, told board members. “We will need organic waste.”

The three Comox Valley municipalities have confirmed their participation, while Campbell River is expected to give its answer soon.

The site will be located at the Block J site near the current landfill in Campbell River, while the garbage for both regions eventually going to the Waste Management Centre landfill in Cumberland. CSWM expects to back-haul loads of the materials between the two regions to reduce transportation costs and avoid having empty trucks on the road.

The procurement process for the organics site has been broken into two parts. A design-build bid is covering the transfer station and has been aimed at attracting local construction companies.

For the processing facility, the project went out for a request for qualifications (RFQ) last year, followed by a request for proposals (RFP) phase. The next step will be to finalize the procurement or RFP process, as three companies have been invited to submit bids for the project.

“This is a more complex project,” said Bau. “We issued an RFP, and we are planning to close this in July.”

Andy Adams, Campbell River’s mayor and one of its board directors, asked staff about how the shorter timeline might affect the decision-making process and whether the board might need to call a special meeting to handle the awarding of the contract.

Marc Rutten, general manager of engineering services, said CSWM should have the requests for proposal submissions back sometime in the second half of July. They expect to need about a month to conduct a detailed review of the submissions toward making a recommendation to the board for choosing the successful bidder. This will likely happen at the subsequent board meeting in September, though Rutten added that they could make the decision earlier if needed.

“We feel like the September meeting is good. If it does make sense to call a special meeting, we’ll suggest that,” he added.

CSWM board members also had questions about monitoring wells on site and their purpose. Bau responded that the wells are to make sure the site has no impact on groundwater in the area.