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Metro Vancouver seeks input on reduction plant Every summer the smell of death descends over the east Vancouver waterfront.
Sometimes it's for a few hours, sometimes it's for a few days. "It's pretty disgusting," said NDP MLA Shane Simpson (Vancouver Hastings). "And I certainly get why people tell me 'Look, I can't even go and sit on my back deck in the summer or have a barbecue if it's bad.' Because it's really bad. And I've smelt it enough times to know they're right." The smell mainly comes from the West Coast Reduction plant at the northern foot of Commercial Drive, which processes animal waste. "It's bits and pieces of fish heads, fish guts, chicken parts, other things," explains Ray Robb, district director of Metro Vancouver's Environmental Regulation and Enforcement department."They don't process beef, but (they do) all other animal processing." West Coast Reduction has to renew its operating permit this year. So Metro Vancouver is seeking comments from the public about the facility, which has been operating at the site since 1964. Ken Ingram of West Coast Reduction said the company has spent millions of dollars trying to reduce the smell from its operations through the use of odour control equipment, installing a new thermal oxidizer and reconfiguring "room air scrubbers." "The number of odour complaints over the last two or three years is about half of what it was two or three year ago," he said. Metro Vancouver's Robb said the number of complaints from the public about West Coast Reduction varies, from a hundred to several hundred annually. "The company operates 5days a week, so they're always discharging air contaminants," he said. "They have treatment systems that discharge air contaminants (through smokestacks). The treatment systems are a certain amount effective, but not 100 per cent, they don't remove 100 per cent of the odours." Robb said public complaints about the stench tend to comeunder certain conditions. "There are some conditions most notably when we get a northwest light breeze on a warm day when the odours, or the odorous air contaminants, move toward the nearby population, near Hastings Street, Commercial, Nanaimo, that area," he said. "That's a typical wind that we get on a very calm day. The air comes in from the ocean and comes in from Burred Inlet, and goes on to the land." Metro Vancouver issuesfive year permits to companies that have odour issues like this. "(West Coast Reduction) made some improvements, and we wanted to see how well those improvements worked," said Robb. "You have to go over several summers, because you get different weather patterns. Last year, a lot of the winds were coming from the south. Some years we get a lot of the winds from the northwest, really gentle winds from the northwest, and that's traditionally when we've had odour complaints from West Coast Reduction." It isn't the only company in the pandora jewelry gold neighbourhood that the public complains about. Bad smells can also come out of Hallmark Poultry Processors at 1756 Pandora. "We'll sometimes get complaints about the poultry facility, and the rendering plant, and our officers try to figure out which one is the likely source," said Robb. "Sometimes the complainants picked the right source, sometimes they don't know and we try and figure out which one it is. And our officers can tell based on the type of smell david yurman jewelry and the wind direction." Why are there still rendering and chicken plants so authentic pandora bracelet close to downtown? Because they're located in an industrial zone, and are integrated into the local economy. "We recycle about 250,000 tonnes of animal byproducts every year, and that's a critical part in the regional food system, which is a very circular economy," said West Coast's Ingram. "The whole issue of having a local food economy and eating local and all the reasons for that apply to rendering, as they do to any part of the food system. It's an important link in the regional food system that needs to be local to the food producers." MLA Simpson thinks the company has made a valiant attempt to reduce its smell. But if it can't get rid of charms for pandora bracelet the problem, he thinks perhaps West Coast Reduction should move.
"They have invested in scrubbers and a variety of ways to try to correct the problem, and it hasn't worked," he said. "There has been that discussion about them moving out to the (Fraser) Valley, where a lot of their product comes from. I understand why they don't want to do that, because most of their product they ship out of the port.