Residents near proposed Boston Flats eco-depot worried about leaching, water quality

By Chad Klassen
April 22, 2019 - 5:17pm

KAMLOOPS — With the Cache Creek landfill set to re-open in the next couple months and only accepting commercial waste, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has been planning a location for a new, more permanent eco-depot for area residents.

Currently, they dump their garbage and recycling at a temporary site near the landfill, but the district wants to move it south, closer to Ashcroft.

"The eco-depot is for residents, small- and medium-sized businesses, so it's a collection point for garbage and recyclables," said TNRD environment manager Jamie Vieira. "I should clarify, nothing gets landfilled at the site. Everything gets hauled offsite to the landfill or for final processing."

But the plan to put the eco-depot between Cache Creek and Ashcroft, next to Highway 1, is not sitting well with residents who live nearby. 

"This will affect debris and runoff and just toxins of whatever into the Bonaparte River," said area resident Gord Fehr. "If you have that situated here and you get the runoff going into the Bonaparte, even just down the banks, Jack and Diana just across the road, their well is right at the bottom of the bank, so that would go straight into their water system."

The residents say the wind in this corridor between Ashcroft and Cache Creek could create major issues.

"The debris that's going to be blown around from this thing, and they say it's going to be manned, but there's no way you're going to catch any kind of paper or debris that blows away. It's just gone," noted Fehr. 

Another area resident, Linda Holland, who lives directly below the proposed site, says the 2017 wildfires have led to more flash flooding. She notes a lot of debris ends up on her property, and the fear is any remnants of garbage or chemicals from the eco-depot will be deposited there as well. 

"If there are chemicals that are coming or waste that's coming from any of the containers, or from items that are dropped at the site, I'm afraid that's going to leach down through the soil into my property, into the Bonaparte River, and into my potable well," said Holland. 

Last Thursday, the TNRD board voted unanimously against a plan to rezone the property during a public hearing. The sale of the land is subject to rezoning, but area director Steve Rice says more residents need to be informed about the plan.

"Whether you agreed or didn't agree with the site, I think consultation was the issue," Rice told CFJC Today on Monday. "And that's why, for the first time in my seven years that I can remember, there was a unanimous 'no' vote because we need to go back to the drawing board, maybe not with the site — possibly with the site, too — but we need to talk to these people before we do anything."

The residents say they're not against an eco-depot, just not in this location. The TNRD plans to hold a meeting in Ashcroft or Cache Creek in the near future. 

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