December 2013

Central Saanich resident Liz Mueller wrote to Premier Christy Clark and here was the Premier's response - or at least the response of someone in her office:

Dec. 5: 
We understand that this is a very important issue for your and your neighbours.

As you may be aware, on August 20, 2013, the CRD suspended the licence issued to Stanhope Dairy Farm and applicable to the Foundation Organics Ltd. composting facility.  The CRD is currently reviewing the revised Operating Plan submitted by Foundation Organics, and they are committed to resolving the odour issue for the residents of the surrounding area. 

Stanhope Dairy Farm is currently operating as a Class 1 Composting Facility, as opposed to a Class 3 which was their previous operating capacity.  The matter is still being reviewed prior to the suspension being lifted.  We would encourage you to keep working with local government, and to send comments to the CRD odour complaint forum.

We hope this information is helpful and we wish you all the best over the Holiday Season.


Liz's letter:

After many hours of meetings with local politicians, it was anticipated the offending smell would be, and must be, stopped.

But as of today, Stanhope Dairy Farm is still composting and creating the most abhorrent smell imaginable affecting hundreds of people's right to enjoy their property and neighbourhoods.  It seriously affects people's health and well-being and has definitely affected our property values.  No one wants to visit us, let alone buy our house!

It is time the Premier did a review of why so many ministries, the CRD and agencies are totally unable to stop it from continuing despite what appears to be an arsenal of sanctions at their disposal in umpteen different statutes.


October 2013

Tried "Wrong Industry-Wrong Location"

Now It's Time to Do It Right!

Rather than the fragmented, piece-meal approach taken so far, the CRD needs to look at planning for the future in a much more integrated way.  The RITE Plan advocates (including CRD Director Vic Derman) have viable ideas that should form part of the discussion.  Why isn't the CRD paying attention?

Stanhope Farm is not, never was, and never will be a good site for such a facility!  My hope and aim in the continuing battle is to see the composting facility at Stanhope Farm PERMANENTLY shut down.  We should be pushing for a CRD composting facility to be built - perhaps located at Hartland - which will process the region's solid waste in an anaerobic digester system.  Central Saanich's ALR land should remain as arable land!

Kirsty Williams

September 2013

Possible Animal Abuse:
Are Pigs Being Fed to Pigs?

Sept. 3 from Mayor Bryson:

"I would request that Central Saanich staff follow up on the allegation that  collected food waste (Ed. note:  cruise ship food waste includes pork products) is being used as livestock food on this farm. I would ask that staff please inquire with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or other appropriate body regarding the legality of such a practice.

I would also request that Central Saanich staff follow up with the Ministry of the Environment to inquire whether the farm can legitimately accept  food waste (for any purpose) under the OMRR regulations while their recycler license is suspended. Also if the food waste is being stockpiled what is the Ministry of the Environment doing to monitor the quantity, storage of the material and whether it poses a risk to the environment."

"Plastic Compost" Sold?

How "Green" Was the Compost?

What is plastic doing in compost?

plastic compost
The photos above were taken of one of the Foundation Organics fields in September.  The plastic needs to be picked up by hand because it won't integrate into the soil.  Is this the kind of  "compost" we want near our food? 

Sept. 26:  Just going outside right now to harvest some plastic... 

Would you like some plastic with your food order?

The area I am 'harvesting' from is approx. 2' by 6'. I've taken pictures of what I've picked JUST from the surface so far, I haven't disturbed the surface (I'm using my bonsai tweezers) at all yet and this is what I've gotten so far.  Keep in mind that this is made up of 3 parts soil/ 1 part sand/ and ONLY 1 part compost...even I'm shocked at what is coming out of here. It's all evenly shredded up so you can tell it's been processed by the shredders.

We found out that the soil/compost/sand mix we purchased last month had compost from FO in it.  I purchased it at Aces Gravel Mart.  I phoned to confirm this, and yes, they were in fact getting compost from FO but not any longer.  
(Ed: So was this compost removed from the FO property and sold to Aces?  Such an action, if it occurred, would have been in direct contravention of Central Saanich's bylaw.)

We knew something was funny when we handled it with our bare hands; it was like handling charcoal turning our hands black.  Soil doesn't do that.  After it settled for a couple of weeks, the plastic started coming up.  Doesn't make me feel very good!

Karen Long


If the water that comes out of our taps in the Capital Region smelled as bad as the air at my daughter's house on Twin View Place in Central Saanich you would be obliged to issue an advisory, via the media, to caution people to boil the water or not to drink it because it could be potentially unhealthy.  

My daughter has three children aged  three, five, and seven.  I worry about them having to live in that environment.  Frequently, they cannot even play in their own yard because the smell in the air is so offensive and possibly dangerous to their health. They even have to close the windows on some nice days.  That is not fair, at all, for the children or anyone else.  

There are people in the Tanner Ridge area who feel that their illnesses are a direct  result of the airborne particles that are causing the offensive smells.  Would you consider warning people about the problem, via the media, while you continue to investigate the health implications of the poor air quality in the Tanner  Ridge  area? The air that we breath is every bit as important as the water that we drink.

Len Box

More Government Indifference

Sept. 30:  Ministry of Environment's Conrad Berube's Response to a Letter from a Central Saanich Resident

The ST/FO facility has an odour management plan in place which was developed by Dr. John Paul, of Transform Compost Systems Ltd.  Dr. Paul has indicated that he was on site at the facility in mid-July and made recommendations to address odour issues (which have since been implemented).  The operators at the facility have been cooperative with the Ministry in trying to address any perceived deficiency in complying with our legislation. 

Although operators continue to experience challenges in this regard, recent court cases have indicated that in order for the province to demonstrate that odours are causing pollution they must be shown to be producing a physiological impact (a physically measurable affect - a physiological consequence - something that causes a real physical suffering, an objective rather than a subjective experience).  A subjective complaint that an odour is unpleasant is not sufficient to meet evidentiary standards.   That being the case, a conservation officer attended the site on August 10, 2013 for roughly an hour.  He reported a smell consistent with manure on a farm (which would not constitute a non-compliance to OMRR) and reported that he not express [sic] any physical responses to the exposure.   Similarly, a VIHA representative has been on adjoining property on a number of occasions and indicates that there is no empirical evidence for health allegations that complainants are reporting.  Likewise, WorkSafeBC investigation did not result in any gas or odour related findings.

This prompted a spirited response from the recipient!

Your assertions that professionals have been involved both in the designing of the filter system at Foundation Organics and in trying to remedy the horrendous and obvious flaws in the original design provide zero consolation to the residents of Tanner Ridge and Martindale Valley.  We have been choking on the daily disgusting odours produced by this facility for months, and despite the assertions of the individual inspector you referenced, there is an entire neighbourhood who will very decidedly tell you that this odour does NOT smell like compost.  I have a compost pile in my backyard that I cannot smell at all.  The odours produced by this facility have variously resembled vomit, putrefaction, and just plain garbage.

As to your assertions that these odours are simply odours and have not produced health problems, I know a great number of the residents of Central Saanich who would again strongly and heartily disagree with you on this point as well.  Among those would be a resident who has no olfactory sense at all (and counted himself lucky among his neighbours) until after protracted exposure to the stench, he found himself repeatedly vomiting up his breakfast on a daily basis.  Another would be my own husband who is suffering from the first sinus infection he can ever recall suffering in his life - at the age of 55.  He contracted this infection at the beginning of May, and has been on several courses of antibiotics and steroidal nasal sprays.  Tomorrow is the first of October and he is still suffering with this infection.  Other neighbours have complained of other sinus and respiratory effects (strangely alleviated by holidays away from Central Saanich) - and this has been testified to and documented by the District of Central Saanich and to the Capital Regional District as well.  Our demands for action on identifying the causal organisms of our community's illnesses have so far fallen on deaf ears, and it appears you seem to be a little hard of hearing yourself.  

Andree Penrice

Sept. 26: To Don Hubbard, Chair,  Island Health Board of Directors

Dr. Stanwick, who is the designate Chief Medical Health Officer for the area, has failed to respond, either privately or publicly, to many concerned Central Saanich residents who have sought his expertise and intervention in the matter of Foundation Organics and the plume of off-gasses which they have allowed to escape in contravention of CRD bylaws for many months. We have asked him more than a dozen times since June to determine through either an air quality study or other methods  whether or not residents of the Tanner Ridge area were breathing toxic substances contained in the noxious cloud which has covered our lives for over a year. 

Oct. 2 Follow-up:

Sir, there are more than 2500 people who have lived with the stench (and who know what else, as no one will order testing) from Foundation Organics for nearly two full years.  All we want is an honest discussion.  One of the reasons that I am involved in this issue is I cannot help but feel that we are being treated as second class here for reasons that elude me entirely. 

We are ignored, more than one hundred of our letters have all gone unanswered. A “form letter” which incredibly managed to contradict itself was deemed sufficient for us.  Yet when a colleague of your Dr Stanwick raised well-known, but un-documented issues in relation to a different composting facility –one which did NOT contain animal products- Dr. Stanwick responded with a strongly-worded letter to the local authorities, a letter which was also circulated to the media at the time. Without performing so much as a single air quality test, Dr. Stanwick cited his colleague’s research and requested the assistance of the Town of View Royal in dealing with the matter

Kevin Fry

I am writing to express my disappointment and distress with regard to the attitude expressed by you and the Health Administration in general with regard to our insistence that the off-gassing from Foundation Organics was making us sick.

I would like you to imagine that you have come to work and said to your boss that you are feeling sick and that you think it might be due to the noxious air quality in your neighborhood. He then says that he doubts that could be so. You further inform him of your symptoms and how really rough you are feeling and he looks you over and says, "Well, how sick are you really? You are here after all. Have you had formal proof of illness? And what makes you think that it has anything to do with the noxious odors enveloping your neighborhood?" You tell him that your neighbors are exhibiting similar symptoms. He shakes his head dismissively and tells you that he, in fact, talked to your community and there is nothing to suggest that you are really sick or that the air quality would have anything to do with it in any case. Probably you just don’t like the nuisance smell.

That, by the way, is exactly how dismissive you sound to us. This is not worthy of you as a human being and it is certainly not worthy of someone in your position.

I ask you:  What if this same stench were enveloping the hospitals in our region and the patients and medical staff were struggling to breathe deeply—those with compromised lungs were now needing assistance, those with asthma were having to increase their medications and restrict their time outside? You start to see sinus infections, skin rashes, and allergy reactions that are new, non-stop headaches, and even phantom toothaches are finally examined with CT scans only to discover there is nothing wrong with the tooth in question. Then you notice that so many in the hospital are coughing and yet they don’t have a cold. So—after witnessing all this, would you tell all those patients and medical staff that there is no reason to assume that they are sick, as such?  It is only an odour after all. Or would you make it your business to get involved in exploring the situation properly and in shutting that stench down permanently? I doubt very much that you would allow this type of facility to be in the airshed of a hospital. Why should it be in the airshed of anyone?

We had a new born baby come home from the hospital on July 30th when the stench was at an all time high, and that poor little fellow did not have a clean breath of air in his own home for the next two weeks. In fact he didn’t have a clean breath of air until he ended up back in the hospital for a week. Fortunately when he returned home Foundation Organics was on suspension so the stench was now intermittent and the off gassing was not as severe, however we are all living in dread that it will resume.

So if I have made this letter sound a little personal I will excuse myself by suggesting that it IS very personal to all of us.

If you spoke with someone in Central Saanich about this situation I can only suggest that it was not with someone who lives in my area. I know how I was feeling this summer and exactly how I feel when that putrid off gassing fills my home even temporarily now.

Brenda Antonson

My question to you, Dr. Stanwick,  is simple: Why hasn't VIHA joined forces with the Ministry of Health and the Environment Ministry to do full-scale air quality testing on any day when the plant's been operational? This business is sited in the midst of farmland, residences and a recreational trail, and our elementary school is just over a kilometre away from it, so thousands of the residents in our community have been exposed to this foul air. Have you not been concerned, or at least even a little curious about what's in the plume?

I expected more regulation before this industrial operation was ever allowed to set up shop; I expected more oversight from you and your fellow government bodies once it was.

Sadly, I - and my community - have been let down.

Dolores Bell

Everyone who has experienced any health concerns possibly relating to this situation should all be contacting VIHA individually and we should also send letters to the Central Saanich council in order for them to be taken into consideration in their formal letter to VIHA/ Environment. It was rather eye-opening to me to hear about some of the other health concerns that others are experiencing. My husband has had a sinus infection since the beginning of May that hasn't been able to be resolved despite several courses of antibiotics and steroidal nasal sprays.

Andree Penrice

Through this “stop the stink” journey, it has surfaced that numerous people are having health issues that they feel are directly correlated to the air pollutants that are occurring from Foundations Organics.

My husband ended up at his doctor’s office with an eye infection in both eyes.   He had washed all the back yard outdoor furniture and the next morning woke up with very irritated eyes.   After dialogue with the doctor regarding the operations going on at Foundations Organics, and his query surrounding his eyes, she was very concerned and did concur that his eye infections could be from an environmental pollutant.  She has provided him with a medication and wants to see him back in two weeks.   

It has also been brought to our attention that sinus infections, runny eyes, breathing issues, irritating cough, sore throats, people with asthma and other lung related issues are having to increase their medications, aching of teeth, headaches, ear aches and missed employment have all occurred due to the “stink” situation we currently are enduring.

Concerned Resident

As some neighbours of Foundation Organics point out: “This is a positive step but let’s not forget that one of the operators of this garbage dump has a trucking company, Finish Line Trucking, and these trucks are also being used to haul garbage to FO. This is not over by a long shot. This past weekend we had three cruise ships in port on Friday starting at 4:30 p.m. and two more at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday we had four cruise ships in port, the first of these arrived at 8:00 a.m., the other three arrived in the evening with the first two at 6:00 p.m. and the last at 7:00 p.m. All of these ships had garbage to unload in Victoria.”

Dave and Michele Bond live at “Ground Zero” near the waste plant. They sent the following information in an email to the CRD Bylaw Enforcement Officer: “We rounded out the day counting about 18 dump truck loads of fill that we personally witnessed….and we undoubtedly missed some. Added to this was some wood waste (Ellice) and food waste (the cruise ships)…so it was a very busy day. Surely this “rogue filling” of ALR and Central Saanich land just for pure profit for a “pseudo farmer” cannot be permitted or tolerated. And of course the odour persists because they are still composting in spite of direct CRD orders to stop.”

If we continue to apply pressure on all sides whether regulatory or client/supplier, the community pressure will have this kind of effect on others equally concerned about their reputation. Can we dare to hope that if we can't shut them down within the regulatory environment that we can make it economically unsustainable for them to continue operating?

Angie Rashbrook

I'll drink my toast to Tervita and the tireless folks fighting this battle who have never given up!   Rose Davidson


Mayor Bryson,

Just back from a visit to Stanhope with Frans Winkel. Our visit was prompted by yet another delivery of cruise ship waste. The forklift operator said that it was "pig food". A semi-trailer load of food waste for seven pigs....yes it's now down to seven, and a similar delivery was made yesterday at 3:38 PM. This so patently ridiculous that it defies belief that it is allowed to continue.

I can confirm that CRD bylaw staff were on site to witness and photograph the delivery, but this is not good enough.....they should be STOPPING IT. Each delivery adds to the time we neighbours must endure the stench. This is not acceptable.

David Bond
Sept. 7

August 2013

Mr. Bryson,

It is 3:00 a.m. in the morning and our family has awoken and there is such a pungent smell in our bedrooms one can hardly stand it. The smell is so thick in our bedrooms, from having our windows open, one can taste it in the back of their throats.

So after sealing up all our windows, and turning on some fans so my family can get back to sleep, I laid awake realizing that this situation SERIOUSLY needs to be addressed. This thick air has to be a health hazard!! And even if it is not professionally deemed to be a health hazard, one should not have to live under these conditions.

For two years now, I have suffered from what has been perceived as a sinus infection, every six months it rears its ugly head and I have been put on another course of antibiotics. Struggling to find the cause, again yesterday I was at the doctor because of this sinus infection, and the doctor asked me if possibly something environmental was causing this sort of reaction? My neighbours have small children and one of their children is asthmatic, the children have not been able to go outside most of the summer as the environment is causing her condition to heighten. They recently purchased their home in our neighbourhood because of the beautiful fresh air and the parks for the kids to play in and now their children are summer quarantined!! This is absolutely unconscionable for me to understand! This is Central Saanich? Remember, rolling hills of farmlands, beautiful farm fresh air, accompanied by serene landscape! What has happened here?

Mr. Bryson, I am trying to be patient, and I am trying to let the CRD and the municipality orchestrate “due process”, and I also realize due process takes time, but at some point, one needs to say enough is enough! The scales have tipped to an unreasonable measure one man’s livelihood being accommodated at the cost of a whole community?

Through hearsay I have been advised that the CRD did not have a lot of “offers” to accommodate this new requirement for composting, but allowing a farmer to take on this composting process without extensive research and the proper safety and environmental measures in place is criminal! This is a large scale INDUSTRIAL operation, that must be researched and executed with the knowledge and expertise to which it demands. What is going to happen in January, 2015 when Hartland refuses food waste at the landfill. Will we have the proper conditions from a business in place? Has Stanhope Farms switched their hours of operation to the evening to avoid the backlash of the community? If so, then one has to ask why? A normal, upstanding operation does not need to go “underground” if it is operating within the guidelines and parameters of the policies. I don’t know composting, and I am not going to pretend I do....all I know is when it smells like I am running a composting operation in my bedroom because of the air quality from outside.....I KNOW THIS IS WRONG!

I know our community has been suffering with this for many years now, and I also appreciate that in the most recent months the problem has heightened due to the obnoxious smell becoming intolerable. I cannot and will not speak for a whole community, but I can speak for our family. Am I going to be expected to pay the expected taxes that Central Saanich places on us for the current conditions that I am now expected to live in? Legal advise will need to be obtained, but this just can’t happen to our community members. The documentation of uncomfortable conditions is starting to speak for itself. I know you have heard a barrel of complaints since obtaining your current position, but Mr. Bryson, this air pollution, cannot and should not be tolerated!

It would have been different if I purchased a property fully appreciative of the conditions placed upon me, but for the CRD and/or the District of Central Saanich to allow this business to cripple along, learning the pitfalls of composting at the discomfort of a whole community is wrong! There are countries in Europe that have had to spend millions of dollars to ensure their composting requirements are safe and effectively managed.

Mr. Bryson, I wish I could write a letter with the impact of a highly qualified professional, but I can’t. At 3:00 a.m, I don’t have streams of statistics to back up my argument like a finely polished lawyer, all I know is this “feels” wrong! THIS IS WRONG! Esquimalt stood up and fought, and their Mayor stood with them! When air pollution from one’s business is effecting peoples health and the livelihood of normal day to day operations in a community, our political members and officials need to take action....swiftly and effectively!

This is wrong! Please take a stand...a strong stand...for the sake of our community.
Concerned Resident

eMail August 16 - Sorry, but what was the date of that broadcast? It's the first time I have seen it. Mayor Bryson definitely didn't appear to have the correct posture for a politician sympathetic to the plight of his constituents. REDACTED - the mayor has explained to me the circumstances of that interview and the technique used, I am sure the circumstances were difficult. "I love the smell of my community" was in defence of the community. REDACTED Clearly he is not smelling the rotting rancid odours that we in Tanner Ridge must contend with. No one that I have met has an issue with legitimate farming operations, in fact we expect there to be normal farm odours, tractor noise, and dust. We don't expect commercial operations that blatantly ignore bylaws.

On the site is a forum. I have asked on that forum for someone to start a new thread that would be a petition. I think that there should be two. The first one to block the sale of compost materials, that's just going to lead to more enterprises like Foundation Organics. And, the second one to make sure that these politicians are blocked from giving municipal approval to any more of these operations.

Please note that I have copied the Mayor with this email.

Dave Percy

Definitely learning more and more about this situation. One of which I see now how many other people have been battling this longer than us. Also how important our support is. Digging around, I am also becoming more and more suspicious about deep community roots and alliances there are between some of the people involved.

I have been submitting comments and complaints to Mayor Bryson, who I'm sure we all know sits on the CRD Board. Many of you may be interested in watching this A-Channel news story I found. In particular, pay attention to our Mayors' comments just after the two minute mark!

This man is supposed to be working on my behalf?? Also sitting on the CRD Board??? Am I the only one who 'smells' a tremendous conflict of interest here???? Karen

On 2013-08-16, at 10:32 AM, KM Frye wrote:

When the CRD served Stanhope with the ‘Suspension Notices’ on August
1st, the spokesperson for the operation claimed the loss of CRD business would have little or no effect on the operation, as CRD waste makes up “only 30 %” or so of the total brought to the farm (Peninsula News-Review interview). As we can plainly see –smell- the spokesperson was right and the CRD was wrong. The stench continues unabated.

Stanhope is prepared to muddy the waters to continue their business. When challenged under the Farm Practices Proctection Act as a farming operation, their lawyers devoted considerable time and resources persuading the governing body (BC Farm Industry Review Board) that they lacked jurisdiction, as this was not part of their farming operation. Minutes from the hearing on Mar 12 show that the operators held that the Foundation ORganics operation was seperate from the farming operation and thus beyond the jurisdiction of the FIRB) They answered traffic claims by again claiming FIRB has no jurisdiction,. Most telling was the following, which I quote directly from the minutes: Counsel for the respondent farm further argued that BCFIRB has no jurisdiction to make a determination as to whether the composting operation on the respondent farm complies with permitted land uses (or is an appropriate use of land in the agricultural land reserve).

Yet when in front of Central Saanich Council in 2011, and also when speaking to the media the operators claimed that it was indeed part of the “normal farming” business and not subject to the same regulations as commercial operations. Clearly they wish to have it both ways, and their lawyers have become quite good at working one governing body against the other. (As an aside- why is Council so silent on this? Mayor Bryson did say something about it being “in camera” but why is the matter “in camera”. We should raise that issue with the mayor and council. This is an issue of public safety, not of “solicitor-client privilege”, as I believe the mayor said.

I’m glad this is getting organised. But we need to make sure that we are heard. I applaud the appearance on CAFX this morning, but the pressure needs to be kept up until compiance is finally with us.


From: Rose Davidson Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 9:19 AM
Subject: Re: Signing of Complaint letter to Premier

That has been my concern as well Ron.. the waste at Stanhope Farm is coming from Cruise Ships, Walmart, Thrifties and likely other commercial business sources I am not aware of. Frankly, I would be highly suspicious of consuming any food from Walmart- as you say, there is China written all over it and with that, the pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and who knows what other toxins. Would I want to buy local farm produce grown in this stuff? Not on your life , or should I say "my life". We have had organic composting in our back yard for 24 years. We compost only green matter from our own garden, plus coffee grounds and tea dairy, meat, or fish product. Our home compost, turned frequently, has a pleasant slightly earthy smell and no one has ever complained. The noxious smells we have endured all summer do not in any way resemble composting as I know it. It smells toxic and I will protest it till I can no longer stand. R

On 2013-08-16, at 8:35 AM, Ron DeVries <> wrote:

Couple Questions / Observations

Why is the CRD not taking this on at Hartland Landfill really? they do such a great job with every other part of their recycling program. Why spread this out all over the place..Why not keep it contained where it has been for a years. The infrastructure is already mostly in place.. etc etc I was at Keating Elementary this morning and the smell was there in force. They were writing it off as the rural smells until I told them what it really was.. their faces changed. One might think the parents might not care for this if they really knew the whole truth ????

The nutrients from all they are composting is from a global source. With this comes all the Pesticides, Growth who knows what hormones .. our local farms wont be so local anymore will they. I don't know about you but when I see China written on the veggies at the supermarket.. they stay there.

Usually with Garbage.. there are pests.. Rats etc.. this brings all sorts of other things to this issue. In the past couple of years we have noticed an increase in the rodent population.. coincidence.. maybe??

If the farm in question did get the green light to go ahead and spend the $750K to build this second and larger building.. if it fails.. are they prepared to abandon the project.. doubt it!! they aren't building this to be noble.. they are building this to make a better bottom line for themselves... or did I miss the profit sharing memo.

I agree with what the farm is doing in principal.. but this is an issue that needs to be dealt with differently.. not the way it has been operating. Not when it causes so many people in the surrounding area to be prisoners in our own homes due to poor air quality.

Thanks for listening Ron DeVries Wilcox Terrace.

July 26, 2013 From Tom Watkins...........Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback. As a member of the public who has recently submitted a composting facility complaint form, we would like to provide you with an update regarding the CRD's actions related to the Foundation Organics facility in Central Saanich.  The CRD is committed to resolving this issue
and as a result we have significantly increased our investigation and enforcement activity. We are optimistic that there will be a resulting improvement in odour
management at the Foundation Organics facility in the near future and updates will be provided to you as the matter progresses.

On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 12:01 AM, Tanner Ridge Community <> wrote: Dear Neighbors,

Thank you all for your prompt response. Attached is the letter to the Premier, thank you for cleaning up some typos. Please feel free to make any comments, however keep in mind the letter should be short and to the point. Please talk to your neighbors about the problem, invite them to participate in our common cause. If we ignore the odour problem it will get worse and is going to be with us forever. Please visit: or for more info.

We would like to invite you at our place for signing the letter: Saturday August 17th, from 10:30AM to 12:00AM and from 4:30PM to 6:00PM will be home:
6520B Bella Vista Drive. This is the first private driveway from Costa Vista going north, to the left. Drive up the driveway to the round about. Our house is a white rancher. If you cannot make it, we will try collect the remaining signatures on Sunday August 18th.

We are still in the process of delivering more leaflets you already received to other people in the neighborhood. Here is the original leaflet text: Dear Tanner Ridge Neighbors, Have you noticed the constant everyday obnoxious smell coming with the breeze from East, South-East? In spite of countless complaints to Municipality or to Capital Regional District, the composting facility operated by Foundation Organics at Stanhope Farm (6341 Old East Road) continues to belch out a revolting stench, putting at risk our health and well being. We intend to write a complaint letter to the Premier, the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Health and media about this problem; however if the letter originates from a whole group as a community we may have a better chance to be heard. If you would like to join us as a cosigner, please drop us a note or email us at (please state your name and address) and will send you the draft letter and come by your house for your signature. Suggestions and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Dan & Sanda, 6520B Bella Vista Drive.

email to Walmart Subject: Organic Waste Disposal Victoria BC


to: Walmart
from: T E Smith
August 11, 2013

I am writing to you concerning an organic waste facility located at Stanhope Farms/Foundation Organics in Central Saanich British Columbia which it is our understanding has a contract with Walmart to process their food waste in the Victoria stores at the facility. This facility has been operating for about two years and has generated hundreds of complaints since operation began concerning odours emanating from the facility. The odours are so bad that citizens living in the area cannot go outside without having this noxious odour almost gag you and makes enjoyment of the outside environment impossible. It is also beginning to affect the health of some in the area. Numerous complaints have been made to the Central Saanich Municipality and the Capital Regional District. The CRD issued a license for the operation of the facility and had a contract with them to process some of the kitchen waste collected in the region by the CRD. The complaints finally got some action from the CRD which has just recently cancelled their processing contract with the facility with the goal of having the facility rectify the odour problem. The manager of the facility essentially said that the estimated 30% drop in business would not affect their bottom line because companies such as Walmart and Thrifty Foods etc. were still under contract. This essentially shows the facility and its owners having little or no regard for the neighbours surrounding the facility or even the power of the Regional District to force them to alleviate the problem. Thus the reason for this note. Walmart mentions on their website that it supports green initiative with the goal of eliminating the majority if not all waste at land fills while doing this in such a way that it is sustainable and supports community values. It is quite evident that this facility will continue to ignore the plight of the residents in the surrounding area as long as large corporate customers continue to support them. We are hoping that your company in support of the initiatives of the CRD will add a strong voice to this debate by indicating that your continued contract with the facility will be contingent on them alleviating the odour problem to the extent that they will conform to the operating license issued to them by the CRD. This license stipulates no odours are to extend past the property line. It is our understanding that this matter will eventually go to court, but as you realize court action can take some time, and the meantime the surrounding citizens are faced with a daily stench that makes life unbearable. As long as the facility continues to be supported by other customers they will continue to operate they always have and prolong the whole ugly mess. So we are hoping, as mentioned, that your company will bring whatever influence you may have through you contractual relationship with this facility to bear with the goal of forcing the facility of acknowledge that they are causing a odour problem and that it must be rectified, Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide concerning this matter. Yours truly Terry Smith



August 16th, 2013

From: Ron DeVries
to: Tanner Ridge Community
Couple Questions / Observations

Why is the CRD not taking this on at Hartland Landfill really?  they do such a great job with every other part of their recycling program. Why spread this out all over the place..Why not keep it contained where it has been for a years. The infrastructure is already mostly in place.. etc etc 
I was at Keating Elementary this morning and the smell was there in force. They were writing it off as the rural smells until I told them what it really was.. their faces changed. One might think the parents might not care for this if they really knew the whole truth ????

The nutrients from all they are composting is from a global source.  With this comes all the Pesticides, Growth who knows what hormones .. our local farms wont be so local anymore will they. I don't know about you but when I see China written on the veggies at the supermarket.. they stay there.

Usually with Garbage.. there are pests.. Rats etc.. this brings all sorts of other things to this issue.  In the past couple of years we have noticed an increase in the rodent population.. coincidence.. maybe??

 If the farm in question did get the green light to go ahead and spend     the $750K to build this second and larger building.. if it fails.. are they prepared to abandon the project.. doubt it!!  they aren't building this to be noble.. they are building this to make a better bottom line for themselves... or did I miss the profit sharing memo.

I agree with what the farm is doing in principal.. but this is an issue that needs to be dealt with differently.. not the way it has been operating. Not when it causes so many people in the surrounding area to be prisoners in our own homes due to poor air quality.

Thanks for listening
Ron DeVries
Wilcox Terrace.





August 13:  Yesterday afternoon I came home to the foulest stench that we have had in the neighbourhood for a few weeks. The rancid smell started as I rounded the slight rise from Cordova Bay to the Tanner Road exit. It was foul and disgusting all the way to my property on the upper side of Twin View Dr. I talked with my neighbours and was informed that the stench had actually been worse during the day. As I sat in my living room the smell was strong and pervasive and entered every room of my house, I got angry. I want to know why I have to put up with the assault from the Foundation Organics composting operation. There are bylaws that need to be enforced. How can you allow one un-conforming licensed compost operation to ruin the lives of all the people in the Tanner Ridge area. Where is the fiduciary duty that I expect from elected officials and public service employees. Bylaw 2736 has Section 9 - Offences and Penalties, please apply section 9.2 maximum and 9.5 to make it financially un-viable for the operator to continue.

On the weekend, Saturday morning the stench was filling my bedroom at 7:00am. The smell of rotting meat persisted off and on all day Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday, once again, I awoke to the smell of the Foundation Organics operation. This happens again, and again, and again. This is an ongoing problem. The suspension did nothing. The manager of the operation has publicly stated that they don't have the technology to handle the putrid odors. The facility cannot meet the terms of it's license. The CRD suspension only removed 30% of the waste being brought into the site. The owners/managers have stated that it won't really affect their bottom line. So obviously the only incentive is to cut the revenue stream by stopping all composting operations.

And yes, you don't have to remind me to fill out the complaint form. I do this on a regular basis, but realize that it can't be done every fifteen minutes when the rancid smell chokes Tanner Ridge. This isn't a single instance for an operator who makes a mistake but an ongoing operation that couldn't care less about the quality of life of the people in the surrounding area.

What is the plan to bring the operator of this facility into compliance with their license. What steps are being taken past the suspension? When will the people of tanner Ridge be able to enjoy their yards, to be able to sit outside and not want to retch.

Dave Percy
2409 Twin view Drive

Still STINKS on Tanner Ridge! Fri, August 23, 2013 11:29 am

Good morning gentlemen,
I am writing to you to express my ongoing concern with respect to the unacceptable odour that continues to assault residents of Tanner Ridge. I am particularly concerned that this continues to be a problem despite the recent suspension imposed on Foundation Organics. Today, once again, I have to close my windows and try not to gag as I 'enjoy' a day off from work. So instead of going about my day and watering my garden or cleaning bathrooms or sorting out closets or whatever else I might want to do with my time, I am instead sitting down to write to you all and tell you how fed up I am that Foundation Organics is continuing to "practice" at learning how to compost at the expense of all of the residents of Tanner Ridge.

It is unacceptable that this is allowed to continue when it negatively affects SO many residents of this community. I understand farms operating as a farm will create some odour. My husband and I have happily lived in this area for more than 50 years and we know that farms spread liquid manure and that occasionally it's stinky living close to farmland. We've never had an issue with that and understand that if we are to continue to be able to buy local produce, that's the 'cost of doing business', so to speak. This however is different. Foundation Organics is an industrial/commercial operation that is being allowed to operate on agricultural land. They are not using the compost they produce on their farmland to ameliorate the land or improve crop yields. It was my understanding that farms could indeed compost but that it must be for their own use. This certainly is not the case with Foundation Organics, a large-scale operation that is producing compost material for sale.

Make it stop. Enforce the bylaw. Do not let them resume operations without requiring them to prove that they have appropriate biofilters and that they can CONTAIN the odour and rodent problem coming directly from their operations and affecting my family and so many of my neighbours. Whatever right Foundation Organics may have to operate a business, it cannot, indeed must not be at the expense of clean air for the hundreds of residents in this area. We too have rights to have clean air and enjoyment of our property.

I look forward to hearing what actions the CRD intends to take on this issue. Mayor Bryson, I look forward to you STANDING UP for the residents of Tanner Ridge in this matter.
Angie Rashbrook
2459 Tanner Road
PS, yes, I did fill out the CRD online complaint form and I will continue to do so each time.

re: Mitchell Farms Organic Waste Contract Saanich
August 11th Sharon thank you for the acknowledgement of my previous note. I also hope that Mayor Leornard and Council take the concerns of the citizens in Central Saanich regarding odours associated with food waste composting in the Mitchell Farms and Stanhope Farm area. Here it is after 8:00 pm on a Sunday night and we are unable to sit outside because of the atrocious stench emanating from Stanhope Farms. It is well and good that Saanich is looking for the most cost effective location for the processing of their kitchen waste program, but at the same time essentially asking the citizens of Central Saanich in the Tanner Ridge and surrounding areas to subsidize this program by putting up with the daily stench which makes enjoyment of the outdoors virtually impossible, through effects on health, and no less important property values.
I have copied the Mayor of Central Saanich in on this note as he is completely familiar with the problems faced by his citizens and I am sure will provide a strong voice in opposition to any expansion of kitchen waste composting in Central Saanich.
The CRD made a mistake in approving and encouraging through contracts the Stanhope Farm kitchen waste composting operation and now are fighting to extricate themselves from this but will eventually find themselves in a costly court battle. It would be foolish on their part and the part of Central Saanich to allow another such operation to come to fruition.
Before Saanich makes any commitment to Mitchell Farms regarding the processing of their citizens kitchen waste, they should look long and hard at the experiences associated with Stanhope Farms who like Mitchell Farms said their would be no problem with odours. In addition, with the cancellation of the contracts with the CRD due of non-compliance with odour control, the manager of the facility states that this will not effect their bottom line, while missing the whole point or ignoring it, that their is a odour problem that has to be fixed. The attitude that it does not matter that their is an odour problem affecting hundreds of homes, and the bottom line will not be impacted shows how little regard the operator has for the terms of the contract with the CRD and the license it has to operate such a facility.
We hope you will hold in abeyance any contract negotiations that Saanich is planning to enter into with Mitchell Farms regarding kitchen waste composting until such time as the CRD, who knows the current location and technology is not working, can find an alternative site and operator which is not in a residential area, and which can be of a sufficient size to handle all the kitchen waste that will be generated in the region once the ban comes into effect in 2015. As it stands now with all municipalities doing their own thing and dumping their waste in another municipality without regard to the citizens of that municipality this problem will continue to arise.
As mentioned, the mayors should talk and I am sure Alastair can convince you that this expansion to kitchen waste at Mitchell Farms should not go forward.
Yours truly
Terry Smith

----- Original Message ----- From: "Council"
Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 2:35:03 PM
Subject: Re: Mitchell Farms Organic Waste Contract Saanich
Good Afternoon Terry:
Receipt is acknowledged of your recent correspondence to Mayor and Council. Please be assured that your correspondence has been brought to the attention of Mayor Leonard and Councillors, and appropriate municipal staff.
If further information is required, please contact the Legislative Division at 250-475-1775 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, except statutory holidays.
Regards, Sharon Orr
Committee Clerk Assistant
The Corporation of the District of Saanich c/o The Office of the Municipal Clerk 770 Vernon Avenue Victoria BC V8X 2W7 Tel: (250) 475-1775 Fax: (250) 475-5440 Email: Website:
T E SMITH 8/6/2013 8:25 PM

I amazes me that at a time when the CVRD is having difficulty with Stanhope Farms due to odours that Saanich has decided to contract with Mitchell Farms in the same area for the same materials. Your comment on the News Hour that the technology employed by Mitchell's Farm will eliminate any odours. That is what the CRD was told by Stanhope. Your description of the technology to be used at Mitchell's bears a very strong resemblance tho that employed at Stanhope which does not work and never will. It is a very cheap technology which cannot handle large quantities of organic waste and control odours. We have been fighting with the CRDd and Central Saanich for over a year now regarding the awful stench emanating from the Stanhope facility and finally the CRD seems to agree there is a problem. The stench is so bad that one cannot enjoy a meal outside or enjoy working in the garden without feeling sick and having a difficult time breathing.
It appears that a neighbour of Mitchell's already tried to get some mitigation of odours emanating from the Mitchell operation which at present, as seen below, includes basically lawn and garden waste. You now plan to expand this to kitchen and restaurant waste.
In January 2001, the Michells entered into a contract with the District of Saanich to receive green materials for composting. This material consists of prunings, lawn clippings and removed shrubs.
Garden waste has minimal smell but raw and cooked food waste has a noxious odour which unless a significant amount of money is spent on enclosed vessels, and I am not talking about a building with ventilation, odours cannot be controlled. The technology that you have been led to believe will prevent odours has not worked at Stanhope Farms, Nanaimo, Abbotsford and a number of other locations where residential development is anywhere near.
The prevailing winds in the Mitchell Farm area are from the south and east pushing odours up the hill and into significant residential development. Saanich like the other government bodies involved in these "green initiatives" have not consulted with anyone in the area, have not reviewed the technology to ensure that it is effective and have completely ignored information on prevailing winds.
As I mentioned we have been fighting for over a year to have the horrendous stench emitted from Stanhope Farms stopped and we finally have progress, only to have another municipal government step in and add to the problem. Do you not talk to each other? I thought the justification for the CRD was to coordinate regionally on such things as waste and here we have everyone going off and doing their own thing and making matters worse. One of the things that all the municipalities in the region espouse is the preservation of farmland. Well an organic composting operation on the scale advocated at Mitchell and Stanhope Farms is a commercial operation clear and simple and no one can say it is not. The monies involved in these operations are very large and farm out distance anything that could be generated by farming.
Saanich should take a very sobering look at their proposal, including researching and visiting similar operations to see if odours are non existent and discuss with the CRD a proposal that will not impact those on the Peninsula. It is fine and dandy to say well it is already in operation therefor it has been approved. The farm can handle lawn and garden waste but other organics it cannot without odour problems.
This problem will not go away and we have after a long fight become very united in our opposition to such a facility in our area.
Terry Smith
2408 Twin View Drv
Central Saanich