Sechelt council has authorized a five-year contract with Salish Soils for removal and processing of biolsolids from wastewater treatment, but not before posing questions about trucking costs and the cleanup of the processing site on Dusty Road.
The current contract, also with Salish Soils, was set to expire Dec. 31 and the company was the only one that responded to a request for bids.
The company leases the Dusty Road lot from the district of Sechelt and plans to keep processing biolsolids collected from both Sechelt and Gibsons at that location for up to six months while it sets up a new processing facility in partnership with Coastland Wood Industries in the Port Mellon area.
In its bid Salish Soils said the partnership will give the company easy access to hog fuel to add into the “bioreactor” to speed composting.
The potential costs of decommissioning the current site at Dusty Road raised questions for councillors Eric Scott and Tom Lamb, who wondered if the $50,000 bond from Salish Soils would be enough.
“We will be making sure we monitor it and making sure they clean up the site totally,” said Darwyn Kutney, the district’s director of engineering and operations. “We have that $50,000 bond to ensure that it’s done properly.”
Kutney explained to council that cleanup should be relatively simple, involving removal of any biosolids that remain awaiting processing and scraping off “around six inches of material” to get back down to clean earth. Kutney predicted the cleanup could be done without dipping into the funds held in bond at all.
Scott also had questions about the overall cost increase. The contract calls for Sechelt to pay $160 per tonne for the first year, with trucking costs at $300 per load. By the end of the five years the prices will hit $180 per tonne and $340 per load.
Scott said that represents a significant increase from the $120 per tonne, including trucking, the district was paying in 2013.
Kutney said trucking to Port Mellon added to the costs, but he would be discussing the possibility of a discount for the time that the processing is still happening at Dusty Road.
In the end, Lamb voted against approving the contract, saying he didn’t feel council had been given enough information before having to make the decision.