Highland Valley’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Centre - A More Sustainable Solution
Highland Valley Copper (HVC) proposes to develop a large, integrated solid waste management centre at its mine site, 19 kilometres west of Logan Lake, B.C. Estimated in 2005 to cost $51 million, this infrastructure investment would yield positive socio-economic and environmental benefits, as well as provide a state-of-the-art solution for 600,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste from a number of communities in southwest B.C.
The centre will incorporate a large regional landfill facility with a high quality composting operation for organic waste, an e-waste collection facility and, possibly, a waste-to-energy bio-reactor where landfill gas is converted for energy use.
The site is located on land disturbed by the mine and provides an alternative to the construction of landfill options on greenfield sites. The municipal waste would be placed on a triple liner on a plateau of mine waste rock up to 50 metres thick, providing a significant buffer between the water table and waste streams. HVC has well established environmental management systems which will be adapted to these new requirements.
The centre is targeted to open in 2008, which coincides with the closure of other landfill sites currently serving regional needs. Although steps have been taken to target waste reduction throughout B.C., the total quantity of waste has not declined due to increases in population. Solid waste will continue to be generated and needs to be managed.
The project will move forward if it receives public acceptance and approvals from regulatory authorities. Consultations with First Nations, governments and local community groups are in progress. If accepted, the centre will provide a long-term solid waste management solution.