Plans are in motion to bring slaughterhouse waste into the expanded Cache Creek landfill, but the village’s mayor says horses won’t be part of the equation.
“My understanding is it’s waste from slaughterhouses that slaughter cattle, not horses,” John Ranta said Friday.
But Kamloops environmentalist Ruth Madsen said permits can be amended and other slaughterhouse waste added to the mix later.
“It’s what’s attached to cattle waste that can be dangerous,” she told The Daily News.
Earlier this year, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District approved a permit to expand the landfill operation. This includes a new landfill with a double liner to prevent seepage.
Ranta said the Village of Cache Creek and Wastech are co-holders of the operational certificate. The village elected to include slaughterhouse waste in the certificate during a meeting two weeks ago.
The certificate, which includes terms and conditions under which the landfill can operate, is now in the hands of the Ministry of Environment. Ranta expects a response within the next month.
“As you can image, there are quite stringent guidelines surrounding slaughterhouse waste. You don’t just take a great pile of waste from a slaughterhouse and dump it in a landfill,” he said.
Ranta said the waste must be processed in accordance with Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations before it can be disposed of at a municipal landfill.
A spokesperson with the food inspection agency referred The Daily News to its website, which states a landfill must have adequate signage, fencing, and specific operating procedures, as well as report integrity breaches and retain detailed records.
Regulations also demand slaughterhouse waste be covered before the end of the shift in which it’s delivered.
Madsen said transporting waste of any kind from one location to another isn’t environmentally sound.
Waste should be dealt with within the community it is created, she said. This would prevent diseases from being spread in the carcases of infected animals.
“If this (slaughterhouse waste) comes from major ranches, then have those ranchers deal with their own waste,” said Madsen.
The issue of slaughterhouse waste resurfaced in the local media with the reopening of a facility in Westwold that slaughters horses.
Protesters converge on KML Meat Processors at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.