A new “Ecocentre” and waste facility is moving forward in east Newton after city council gave the project its blessing Monday night.
The facility, which is a partnership between the City of Surrey and the Metro Vancouver Regional District, will accept recyclables, compostable materials, reusable items and garbage.
It will serve as a “one stop drop-off location” which is hoped to increase the city’s waste diversion and reduce illegal dumping across Surrey, which the city spends roughly $800,000 a year on.
Since 2007, illegal dumping has cost the city more than $8.5 million.
After a public hearing at city hall Monday, Surrey council gave the project third reading, which requires the property to be rezoned from General Agricultural to Comprehensive Development Zone, and a development permit.
According to the application before council, Metro Vancouver has “long committed” to providing a residential drop-off facility in Surrey that can serve both residents and small business.
“After an extensive review of potential sites, the (4.3-acre) property at 6711 154th Street was identified as an appropriate location for this use,” city staff note in a report, adding “the proposal was reviewed by staff and the design was found to be appropriate within the context of the business park.”
Several buildings are proposed on the site, including the main 32,000-square-foot transfer building (along the eastern border of the site, adjacent to the future 154th Street, where vehicles would enter the site), a 1,152-square-foot office building, two scale houses, and two canopy structures for recycling drop-off.
According to the report before city council, the facility will accept a wide number of materials for recycling, including materials beyond what is accepted in Surrey’s curbside collection program.
Some recyclables will be accepted for free in a dedicated area ahead of the scales, while other recyclables would be subject to a fee.
The business has been “designed to fit the neighbourhood,” according to the report.
“The site is surrounded by other industrial properties, with the nearest residents more than 200 metres away,” it notes. “Typical loads include residential and small business clean-ups and renovations, such as recyclables, yard trimmings, lumber, furniture, picture frames, mirrors, plastic packaging and flooring.”
City hall has received one email and one phone call from area residents expressing concern about the development, with concerns ranging from increased traffic to odour.
But city staff note garbage will be contained within the enclosed building located at the east end of the site, and will be removed daily from the facility. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the facility will also be completed, the report notes.
“The materials received at this facility would typically be non-odourous, and no large residential or commercial garbage trucks will be allowed to use the facility,” the report states.
A traffic impact study conducted by Bunt & Associates suggests the facility will see an average of 600 visits per day.
“Based on this study, the facility will account for approximately five per cent of vehicles at the intersection of 66A Avenue and 152 Street during peak times,” the report notes. “Traffic for the facility will make up approximately three per cent of the traffic in the school zone in front of the Regent Christian Academy.”
The report states all of the 80 protected trees on the property would have to be cut down to move forward with the project. In lieu of the trees, the proponents would plant 28 replacement trees, as well as contribute $60,000 to the Green City Fund.
Site acquisition and design is expected to cost $12 million, according to the City of Surrey, while construction costs are estimated at $25 million.
“Land, capital and operating costs for the facility will be shared between Metro Vancouver and City of Surrey,” said the City of Surrey in an emailed statement. “Metro Vancouver will pay costs related to garbage and fee-for-service recyclables (i.e. green waste, clean wood, gypsum and mattresses), and the City of Surrey will pay for the free recycling and reuse component of the facility. An initial estimate of Surrey’s portion of the annual costs is approximately $309,000 per year with the remaining funded by Metro Vancouver and recovered through tipping fees.”
With file from Tom Zytaruk