Highlands landfill asks for asbestos

Highwest Landfill in Highlands could be CRD destination for asbestos

Reinhard Trautmann

Yellow bags of asbestos may find their way to a Highlands landfill.

“Asbestos is only hazardous if it’s airborne,” said Reinhard Trautmann, facilities co-ordinator of Highwest Landfill. “You could eat it and not have a problem. You could mix it with water and drink it and be safe.”

Trautmann found metal tape in his home containing asbestos during recent renovations. He was careful to spray it with water before he removed and bagged it up. He will dispose of it at Hartland Landfill in Saanich, which accepts the hazardous material.

Highwest Landfill applied for a permit from the province to also dispose of asbestos, but the request has not been granted yet.

If granted, the facility would accept asbestos double bagged in identifiable yellow plastic. If the landfill starts to accept asbestos, Trautmann said most likely it would only be accepted on certain days and would have to be contained before it was brought on site.

Then the bags would be buried in a separate area of the landfill.

“It has to be double bagged no mater what,” Trautmann said. “Once it’s buried it’s fine. As long as you don’t inhale it through your nose (or mouth) you are fine.”

Many older home building supplies contain small amounts of asbestos including certain types of insulation, linoleum and counter tops. Even items containing one per cent asbestos have to be bagged and disposed of properly.

Highwest Landfill on Millstream Road, is provincially regulated and contracted out by the Capital Regional District. The facility is included in the CRD Solid Waste Management Plan and the CRD supported the asbestos disposal request.

At this time the facility isn’t allowed to accept any hazardous materials.

The landfill isn’t open to the public and is often the site where demolition materials are taken.

Before a demolished home can be brought to the site Trautmann requires approval from an environmental consultant ensuring there are no hazardous material in the load.

Trautmann says he follows this to a T, noting even the tape on drywall manufactured before 1984 contains asbestos.

“You have to prove to us that there are no materials that contain any hazardous materials,” Trautmann said, adding he has turned people away who did not have proper documentation.

The facility does not accept any liquids, tires or organic household waste.

There is an extensive water system on the property to ensure all storm water is piped to infiltrating ponds. Groundwater wells are monitored regularly as well.

“We are very conscious of the environment here,” Trautmann said.  “Everything we do here is controlled.”

Most items brought to the landfill are sorted and recycled. Leftover items are buried in large rock pits lined with clay, stone and geotextile fabric. The pits are blasted out with explosives.

 

Council questions future

Highlands council was notified by the Capital Regional District about Highwest Landfill requesting a permit to start accepting asbestos. The private landfill run by Tervita is regulated provincially and the CRD contracts the company out.

Council asked district staff to create a report on the options available.

“Lots of stuff can be buried, but what will happen (later)?” asked Coun. Karel Roessingh. “We don’t need something like Millstream Meadows where in 50 years we’ll think ‘geez that needs to be cleaned up’.”

Mayor Jane Mendum also mentioned concerns, but said there are many items that contain asbestos and places are required for proper disposal.

 

 

Just Posted

Shamrocks sitting in second spot in Junior A standings

Victoria split games over the weekend and beat the Timbermen Wednesday

Beat the heat at the spray park

Several options across the West Shore

View Royal playground encourages students to connect with nature

Nature playground at View Royal Elementary school also has educational component

New kitchen for Mustard Seed built by volunteers

Members of HeroWork spent nearly a month building a new processing kitchen in Esquimalt

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

Most Read