British Columbia's new waste sorting plant

By Lindsay Gale27 May 2014

A new demolition waste sorting facility has been established at the Okanagan Falls landfill, considered to be the first of its type in the interior of British Columbia, Canada, to reduce the amount of material going into the landfill and thus saving space at the facility. Owned by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), the new sorting facility has been contracted out to Wildstone Environmental in a deal worth C$350,000 (€237,000) a year. The aim is to direct most of the region’s demolition waste to the facility, which is expected to divert up to 5,000 tonnes of material per year.

Fed by an excavator, a conveyor will carry the waste to a screen that will separate out material smaller than 10 cm (4 inches). Larger items will pass on to another belt for manual separation of the remaining waste by material type. Up to 10 workers will be required for the facility, provided by Penticton and Area Co-operative Enterprise, which is a non-profit organisation that helps people recovering from mental illness get back into the workforce.

In addition to developing the facility, RDOS also had to establish a regulatory framework to encourage the sending of demolition waste, excluding any hazardous material, to the facility. It has yet to start operation, since the plan is to stockpile a large amount of the waste prior to the sorters’ arrival on site to ensure consistent employment.

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