RDN receives request to land cargo waste on the high seas
A discussion is underway on whether the Nanaimo Regional District should receive deep sea cargo waste from cargo ships anchored in Nanaimo.
Vancouver-based Tymac Launch Service, a shipping and waste removal company that provides waste collection from deep sea cargoes and cruise ships, asks RDN to accept solid waste at RDN landfill following a request the company received from a vessel anchored off the coast of Nanaimo.
Tymac collects already separated waste by pulling a barge to ships anchored offshore or in port, Collins explained with Tymac in a presentation to the RDN board on May 25. Waste, including organic material, is considered international high-risk waste by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and requires deep burial in landfill sites.
The Port of Nanaimo supports Tymac’s petition and believes the ability to accept waste at the landfill could contribute to increased economic activity at the port, said Jason Michell, vice president of business development for the Port of Nanaimo.
RDN staff said the regional district has the capacity to manage the waste and the fees charged would offset any associated costs. Currently, RDN’s regulations restrict waste outside the region and would require an amendment approved by the board of directors.
Tymac’s request relates only to solid waste. Liquid wastes such as bilge water would be transported to Vancouver where the company holds an existing permit. When administrators asked for the volume of waste Tymac expected to send to the landfill, Collins initially estimated four “jobs” per year.
“For me, there are too many unknowns,” said Vanessa Craig, director of electoral zone B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy), during the discussion between administrators. “There was no indication of the amount of solid waste and the implications for the landfill. We’ve just had a budget discussion about the costs of closing landfills and there could be unintended consequences if we don’t know what we’re getting into.
Tymac’s application has been forwarded to the Select Solid Waste Management Committee, which will receive a staff report outlining the financial and environmental management implications of accepting waste from offshore cargo ships.