Photo by Chung Chow
Stinky organics from local homes will no longer be brought to the complaint-riddled Harvest Power recycling plant in East Richmond.
After years of complaints from local residents, the City of Richmond took decisive action early last year, diverting local organics from multi-family homes to Delta’s Enviro-Smart processing plant.
Now, starting next month, collections from single family homes will also be headed to Delta, meaning no local organics will be shipped to Harvest Power.
According to a City of Richmond press release, the decision was made after the city made an Expression of Interest call for the “provision of organics processing service.”
In the press release, the city said: “Enviro-Smart has been awarded the contract based on providing the best value for Richmond ratepayers. The move to Enviro-Smart will allow the city to continue to grow its organics program and achieve its goal of diverting 80 per cent of the residential waste stream from the landfill by 2020.”
According to statistics kept by MetroVancouver on a dedicated page to Harvest Power (tinyurl.com/HarvestPower), in January of 2017, there were more than 400 complaints that pointed the accusatory finger at Harvest Power as the culprit.
That number dipped significantly for the months of February, March and April, dropping by more than 50 per cent, according to MetroVancouver. There were fewer than 110 complaints per month in the hot summer months of June through September. There was a spike last month to nearly 150 complaints.
Meanwhile, local residents continue to oppose Harvest Power’s operations in Richmond. While Harvest Power has been issued a new air quality permit from Metro Vancouver, the firm’s operating permit from Metro Vancouver has been appealed by a number of residents to the Environmental Appeal Board. The City of Richmond is also a party to that appeal.
According to Metro Vancouver, it gets about 50 monthly complaints where Harvest Power is identified as the suspect.
Although the current numbers are below figures from the Fall of 2016, they are still higher than historical totals.