The Ministry of Environment will determine whether thousands of tonnes of fly ash contaminated with a heavy metal at Cache Creek’s landfill will be removed, a Metro Vancouver officlal said Friday.
Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta is calling for the removal of 1,800 tonnes of fly ash shipped in July and August from Metro Vancouver’s waste-to-energy burner in Burnaby. The material was initially cleared for shipment but later records showed it has higher-than-allowed amounts of cadmium.
The landfill regularly accepts fly ash but it is supposed to be cleared beforehand.
“We’ve worked hard to run a first class operation,” Ranta said Friday. “We’re proud of our operation.”
Operator Wastech’s engineering consultant, Golder Associates, is sampling the material contained in a separate monofill. Ranta said 36 samples have been taken for testing.
“I’m led to believe 22 of them show the material is hazardous waste.”
The monofill is lined and designed not to allow leaching.
Metro Vancouver waste manager Paul Henderson said in the short term all fly ash from its waste-to-energy facility operated by Covanta Energy is being shipped to a special facility in Alberta. The agency is also testing each load before shipment.
Environment Minister Terry Lake said the incident is under investigation.
“We’ll go back and look at records. If there’s a concern with details of reporting we’ll have discussions with Metro Vancouver.”