Archived News Items

September Community Celebration:

It was a beautiful day in our neighbourhood!

"A very lovely setup, some shade, some sun, and the very best people in Central Saanich to share it all with.  Not only was the weather spectacular and the food amazing, we got to share it with people who had just had a really great summer...outside where we should be!"
- Martha & Larnold Cherneske

Celebration of Summer 2014

July 2014

July 4:  Michigan Landfill Gold

There's gold in them thar kitchen scraps when used in a bioreactor to create methane gas and then sold to the electrical grid.  A Michigan landfill is making $800,000 a year taking Ontario's kitchen waste.

June 2014

June 25:  CRD Staff Recommendations

CRD staff are recommending keeping in place the January 2015 ban on kitchen scraps from the Hartland Landfill.  Staff also favour developing a request for proposals for processing kitchen waste and reporting back to the ESC in October.

June 9:  Toxic Farming - Threat to Critical Waterways

In January 2012, the B.C. Ministry of Environment released a discussion paper on changes to the Agricultural Waste Control Regulations aimed at a code of practice — legally binding requirements for farms promoting sound practices for using, storing and managing wastes, such as manure and compost.  "The root problem is bad farming practices."

May 2014

May 28: 
The Province Upholds
Wishes of the Community

Minister Polak:  "At the end of the day, it is quite proper for the local governments, who are elected by their taxpaying resolve these issues themselves."

May 13: ALR Legislation Taking B.C. the Wrong Way

There's no need or rationale for splitting the province into two zones.  The best solution is to leave the present system in place.

May 13:  Region Looks to Add $13.7M to Sewage Bill

Esquimalt Mayor & CRD Director Barb Desjardins:  "It is time for us to really re-look at this.  We've lost the public confidence."

May 10:  Growing Pains Along the Road to Zero Waste

Hartland landfill faces a revenue shortfall; as more diversion takes place, fewer fees will be paid.

April 2014

April 10:  Thank you for attending the CRD Board Meeting!

It was an overflow crowd yesterday:  You came out in significant numbers to support our community and our nine speakers. 
Our thanks to all for so ably representing the health and well-being concerns of our residents and for proposing some viable alternatives, and to the many who couldn't attend but made their concerns known to the Directors.

The Board overturned the Environmental Services Committee's decision and awarded the hauling/processing contract to Emterra.  However, the Board made it clear that finding short-term and long-term solutions for kitchen waste that won't so adversely impact neighbourhoods is their priority:  No other community should ever go through what our neighbourhoods have endured. 

April 27:  CRD Chief Floats Idea of Food Hole at Hartland

Handling food waste at Hartland is still an option shorter-term, plus the Times Colonist is now calling Foundation Organics what it really was:  a "COMMERCIAL composter."

April 23:  No Easy Solution to Waste Woes

CRD staff has recommended a workshop in the next couple of months so CRD directors can look at long-term solutions.

April 22:  CRD Proceeding Without Clear Sewage Plan

CRD Director Barb Desjardins:  "Pause. Halt.  Stop the spending of the region's residents' money until we have a better plan."

April 22:  CRD Ponders Options

The CRD is a victim of its own recycling success, part of an effort to divert waste from the landfill so it can be used for a longer time.

April 15:  Nanaimo Says No

Nanaimo Council turned down a proposal to burn garbage at Duke Point.   Mayor Ruttan: "I do not want Nanaimo to be known as the garbage dump for Metro Vancouver."

April 9:  Anna Clemente on CFAX with Ian Jessop

It's time for a regional facility, done in a responsible, accountable manner under CRD control.

April 2:  [Another] Community raises stink over composting site

As the reporter states:  "They [Cobble Hill] don't want to become the island's dumping ground...If this sounds all too familiar, well - it should."  Shades of our local communities' concern...

April 2:  Cobble Hill foes dump on compost facility expansion

As an online post notes:  "That neighbourhood has never smelled very good since the compost farm moved in.  Used to be a nice area."  Ditto for Central Saanich after Foundation Organics began operation.

April 2:  Comment - Compost our kitchen scraps at Hartland Road
CRD Director Ben Isitt and Central Saanich Councillor Zeb King weigh in on what to do with the area's kitchen waste.

"Community opposition to Foundation Organics in Central Saanich and the Fisher Road facility in Cobble Hill demonstrates the challenge of large-scale composting on private land."

March 2014

March 27: 
Thanks to all who attended!  

The CRD's Environmental Services Committee voted at their March 26 meeting against awarding the kitchen scraps contract to Emterra and against increasing the tipping fee.

This issue is challenging:  The Directors voted to move forward on an in-region kitchen-waste plan, but they differ on what should be done in the interim, and what the best long-term strategy would be.  Once burned:  No one wants to clean up another composting fiasco.

They'll receive more information from staff and look at the subject again next month.  Because it's a contract decision, the CRD Board will likely vote on it at their April 9 meeting.

Did the CRD Dodge Another Bullet?

Meanwhile, the company selected for the CRD contract, and also by Sidney for their program, has some issues of its own.

Mar. 28:  Banana Peel Politics

Mar. 27:  Interview with Director Judy Brownoff

Mar. 26:  Winnipeg Questions Future of Emterra

Mar. 26:  ESC Votes Against Emterra Contract

February 2014
Feb. 28:  Editorial - Process Garbage Closer to Home

Feb. 27:  Decision on Food Scraps Delayed

Feb. 26:  Food Scraps Could Be Shipped to Lower Mainland


Feb: 26:  Richard Atwell - Behind the Scenes at the CRD

Feb. 26:  CRD Food Scraps

Feb. 26: Vic Derman - Is the CRD a Disaster?

Feb. 25:  CRD ESC Chair Nils Jensen

Feb. 5:  Stop Work Order Issued to Foundation Organics

January 2014

Jan. 28:  Ottawa's Green Bin Program Has Challenges

Jan. 22:  Smelly Central Saanich Composter Loses Court Bid to Get Licence Back

Jan. 1:  Saanich Voice Online
- How Did This Happen in Our

December 2013

Dec. 25: Composter Under Fire Again

Dec. 24:  Central Saanich Composting Company Charged Sued

Dec. 23:  Anna Clemente with Al Ferraby (start at 19:50)

November 2013

What a Great Community!

A huge Thank You to everyone who endured the long days in court as we showed our support for the CRD's suspension of Foundation Organic's licence. Now we wait to see how the judge will rule.

Encouraging News

But meanwhile we're seeing a positive result of our community's attendance and lobbying at the CRD’s Environmental Services Committee meetings. At next Wednesday's ESC meeting, the committee will look at how to possibly integrate kitchen and sewage wastes. If the Directors take this route, we’ll have gone a long way to resolving our Great Stink problem. But this CRD committee isn’t united and its staff hasn’t presented all options in the past. We have some friends on the committee, and they need our support. The other directors need to see that we’re paying attention. Only our community’s continued commitment and attendance can help keep our best interests in front of the ESC. It’s All About Keeping Up the Pressure Protecting our interests isn’t what government does best, but we can help politicians and bureaucrats to make the right decisions. And that help involves our time. We aren’t paid to do this, we may be feeling defeated by it, we may resent it, but the reality is that without an active, vocal, engaged population, we won’t win. See the ESC meeting details below.

We can’t do this without you.

October 2013

CRD Committee of the Whole Meeting October 30th
What Was the Outcome?
The CRD Committee of the Whole meeting began at 9:30 a.m. and ended after 3 p.m. including time for a lunch break. That’s a lot of discussion about whether to rescind the biosolids ban!

After listening to 15 presentations from the public (more on this later) and three presentations from “experts,” the Directors decided that the biosolids ban stays in place for now, with a motion by Director Vic Derman, and supported by the majority of the Directors, to require public consultation before lifting the ban. There was also a motion by Director Barb Desjardins to task CRD staff with studying the integration of management of both waste streams, and that report will go before the Environmental Services Committee. The meeting where this report is presented will be an important one for our community to attend. Details as they become available.

Yesterday’s outcome was heartening. Our thanks to those in our community, including our MLA Gary Holman, who attended the meeting: Politicians notice when the gallery is filled. And thanks to those who wrote to the Directors. Many of the Directors seem to be hearing our concerns, and we now appear to have a (growing) number of friends among them.

What Got our Attention?

If you weren’t there, you missed some interesting theatre! Of the 15 initial presenters, 13 were local residents who have skin in the game, and who implored the CRD to hold firm on the ban. The other two speakers weren’t residents – they were “experts” brought in to promote the application of biosolids to land. One of the speakers, Sally Brown (who received such great press in Tuesday’s Times Colonist), is a resident of Washington State and was invited by the Seaterra Commission, which paid her expenses. To pay to lobby our Directors is questionable enough as a policy for a public body such as Seaterra, but to then have her speak as a private citizen was over the top. The other non-resident speaker works with Sylvis, a consulting firm in New Westminster.

Environmental Services Committee

Several members of the CRD's Environment Committee appear willing to back away from deadlines for diverting kitchen scraps out of the landfill.
Board Chair Alastair Bryson is one of them..“So, I think we’re artificially pressing ourselves into a timeline”                   

The problem is lack of facilities for recycling kitchen scraps, which a growing number of municipalities are collecting separately from the garbage.  The CRD is planning to impose a surcharge on the landfilling of that material early next year, which Bryson says is unfair so long as there isn't an alternative place to take it.

As to what the alternative should be...a packed public gallery urged the committee to approve building a CRD-owned-and-operated compost facility rather than seeking another private operator.  There's no decision on that issue.  The committee meeting ran overtime and has been adjourned indefinitely.

Oct. 22: Michell Pulls Out; Saanich Looking at Other Bidders

Oct. 18:  
Regulators Respond to Compost Concerns

Oct. 18:  The Stink is here again today and it's "truly overwhelmingly putrid."  Keep filling out those online complaint forms.  Maybe we'll break 2000 complaints!  Also, FO neighbours report that the "pet lady" may still be operating out of Stanhope.  She was apparently issued two fines by Central Saanich yesterday.

Oct. 12: 
Tanner residents report they were able to buy what was apparently represented as FO compost at Aces, and they claim they were offered a custom mix because Aces could simply bring in a truckload from FO.  They were also  informed that FO's prices had come down... 

Oct. 16:  CRD Rejects Composter's Appeal

Oct. 16:  Can Compost in Central Saanich be Stink Free?

Oct. 15:  FO Lawyer Puts Blame on CRD and Central Saanich

Oct. 14:  Richard Atwell of Stop a Bad Plan

Oct. 12:  Central Saanich Compost Scrap Likely Bound for Courtroom

Oct. 11:  Apology Letter Is Unwelcome

Oct. 6:  Compost Stink Jeopardizes Five-Year, $4.7- million Deal to Process Food Scraps

Oct. 11:   The CRD denied Foundation Organics' appeal.  The CRD's Larisa Hutcheson found that: FO received "in excess of the maximum annual quantities of feedstock expected; Fo operated "in a manner that creates odours that constitute a public nuisance; A total of 1412 odour complaints were received by the CRD; FO had material "that has not finished composting and is not cured sufficiently;" and FO operated "contrary to an approved Operation Plan." FO has been ordered to remove all existing compost from within their building by October 25. 


Oct. 11:  "Horaaaah!  It's been a long hard journey!  Thank you for all your support Tanner Ridge!"

Burton & Cheryl Cummings

Oct. 16: 
Being the district/field Environmental Health Officer for Central Saanich and more recently stepping into my current role, as the Regional Built Environment Consultant, I have heard the concerns from residents from some time, have attended the site area, met with the neighbours, been liaising with all of the agencies, and driven through the Tanner Ridge community on many an occasion.  It is my sincerest hope that we, all of us together, may pave the way for future collaboration amongst the agencies and the public.  So that what has happened in your community doesn’t happen to others.

Jade Yehia

Oct. 16:  Over 120 residents attended the Central Saanich Committees Meeting yesterday evening.  They were joined by Dr. Murray Fyfe and Jade Yehia from Island Health, Larisa Hutcheson and Russ Smith from the CRD, and Colin Fry from the ALC.  The two-hour meeting was ably chaired by Councillor Cathie Ounsted.

A representative from each agency made a short presentation, followed by many questions from the audience.  It was amazing to see all these agencies gathered together in one room to meet with our community.

Each agency outlined their steps to address our concerns and discussed how they'll come up with frameworks to stop this situation from happening again. 
Island Health is looking at developing partnerships to conduct air quality testing.  The CRD is considering changing the licence approval process to include a thorough review of any proposed operating plan by the CRD's own qualified professional, as well as referring composting applications to the ALC and the Municipality to ensure the applicant would be in compliance with those agencies' bylaws and regulations.  The ALC's Colin Fry took personal responsibility and stated that "some things slipped through the cracks" but that he's made this issue his "singular priority" and we can expect a decision by the ALC by the end of this week or into next week.  This was potentially great news. 

And a take-away:  Good things happen when there's discussion and collaboration with the community.  In a perfect world, these agencies will learn from this experience and apply those learnings going forward.

Our community's thanks go to the stalwarts who attended this meeting and other meetings, and who wrote the letters and made the calls and presentations.

Your support - in whatever form it's taken - has been crucial to getting us here. 

Congratulations for standing up for your community

Reaction:  "A very good meeting, very informative and gives us more hope to win this war, Let's keep fighting and thanks to all 'our' speakers as well. VIHA (Island health) finally came out of the cupboard but we weren't that impressed with their view."

Doug & Joyce Clements

Oct. 12:
Back in 2009 and 2010 the CRD paid for and received reports on the issue of integrating planning for organics, biosolids and municipal solid waste in recognition that this would be "required to optimize resource management in the CRD over the long term."

At that time, consultants reported that "household organics could be co-digested with the wastewater sludge to produce fuel substitutes and carbon offsets. The end product would be incinerated as a fuel for cement kilns."

In fact, Larisa Hutcheson signed a report stating, "Clearly, planning for core area area wastewater and regional solid waste must move forward in an integrated way... An integrated planning approach may reveal synergies that could result in reduced life-cycle costs for infrastructure, more flexible options, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental benefits, as well as
new revenue streams from recovered resources."

Four years have passed, Central Saanich has suffered in the meantime, and we're still waiting for the CRD to look at the long term picture.

Look particularly at the diagram on page 3 of this first report - showing how organics could be diverted away from composting and into anaerobic digestion treatment instead:
Oct. 8: 
An appeal to the BC Ombudsman regarding the lack of response or action by the ALC has been submitted by Dave Bond and a case file has been assigned.  The investigative process now begins.  This appeal claims that the ALC has failed to fulfill its mandate, to enforce its Regulations, and has ignored or delayed responding to complaints.

In order for Dave to prepare for more questions by the Ombudsman's office:  If you have evidence of your communication with the ALC that was not answered, please forward your information to Dave at:

Oct. 8:  About 130 residents attended yesterday evening's Council Meeting to ask that our local representatives stay the course when dealing with Stanhope Farms.  The attendees seemed underwhelmed by the letter of apology.

"I just wanted to congratulate everyone on another fine showing of how committed we are.  We demonstrated that residents do not want to back away from the upcoming court issue.  Now it's time to write letters to the Mayor and Council [commenting on the Stanhope letter].  Let's not forget that the CRD was also sent a copy.  We should be writing to the CRD as well."

Ray Baker

Oct. 8: Are you getting The Stench today?  If so, you may be interested to know that neighbours of FO report that the "pet lady" is apparently still making frequent trips in and out of Stanhope Farms.  And the Organico vans are often seen using Old East Road in what appears to be the dropping off of food waste.  As one resident writes, if this is the case, it "sure exposes the lie in their apology."

Oct. 7:  As the wind is changing for the fall, it is blowing north now and the past two days have been bad.  I wrote an email to the Mayor about it and pointed out that the Rendle family must be either not interested in cleaning up the air or they don't have the expertise or the funds to do the job.  Why else would they not take this time to make sure there would be no odour and no complaints?

Would "Going-It-Alone" Saanich

Put Up With This Mess?

Oct. 6:  "Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said if Michell decides not to sign a contract, the district would have to look at either re-tendering or doing the processing itself.  'But we'd have to have a location and logistics and public consultation,' he said."

Imagine! What novel concepts - planning and consultation.   And we strongly suggest the Blenkinsop Valley would provide many good industrial, commercial composting locations.  Just trying to be helpful...

Is Foundation Organics

the Only Smelly Operation?

Oct. 12:  In a news article in the Times Colonist this week the owner of Zero Net waste Composting in Abbotsford says that they are managing to compost 11,000 tons of "garbage" without any odour issues and that composting is getting unfair press because of facilities such as Foundation Organics. He agrees that no one should have to suffer the obnoxious odours that we experienced this summer.

He suggests that Net Zero operates odour-free. I find this amazing in view of the fact that 11,000 tons of stinky, oozing masses of rotting food wastes are being dumped into a building to be transformed into "black gold." Do his neighbours share his view?  We have been told by the owner of the facility in Nanaimo that they run stench-free, however the neighbours are complaining. In Alberta, the facility located approximately 10 miles from Edmonton gets complaints from their suburb, Sherwood Park, when nasty smells drift their way, but all the while the operators take credit for running the best, state-of-the-art facility possible. So excuse me if I harbor doubts that garbage management located close to residences doesn't stink.

Brenda Antonson

Couldn't Happen - Or Could It?

Much has been said about the commercial, industrial, private composting facility in Central Saanich and rightly so.  I want to bring to your attention a point that, to the best of my knowledge, has not been made before.

If the CRD decides to rely on private operators to process the green waste, that will leave the taxpayers financially vulnerable. At best, it is likely only a small handful of private operators will enter the market. Picture the day the CRD has more than 30,000 tons of green garbage to get rid of and is faced with the reality of having to negotiate with a few colluding operators. Is it not entirely possible those for-profit operators would be able to hold the CRD to ransom? The taxpayers are only protected if there is competition in the market place.

Conclusion: The CRD needs to establish its own composting facility.

Carl Eriksen

September 2013

Sept. 26:  Compost Conundrum Keeps Neighbours Fuming

Sept. 26:  Michell Family Considering Cancelling Saanich Contract,AAAA4mHNTzE~,ejlzBnGUUKY1gXVPwEwEepl35Y795 rND&bclid=975107450001&bctid=2698416830001

Sept. 26:  Anna Clemente & Brenda Antonson Interview - starts 6:00 min. in

Sept. 26: Alastair Bryson Interview - starts 21:00 min. in

Sept. 25:  Barb Desjardins heard the citizens of Central Saanich

Sept. 25:  Nils Jensen, Chair Environmental  Services Committee followed by John Alexander, Lawyer for Foundation Organics - starts 5:15 min. in for Jensen; 22:00 min. in for Alexander

Sept. 25:  CRD to Look for Compost Alternatives

Sept. 25:  CRD Environmental Services Committee Meeting;  Saanich Mayor "Goes It Alone" with Michell Farms,AAAA4mHNTzE~,ejlzBnGUUKY1gXVPwEwEepl35Y795rND&bclid =975107450001&bctid=26958418090


Sept. 25:  CRD Environmental Services Committee

Delegate Rebecca Cotterell:

Delegate Brenda Antonson:

Delegate Anna Clemente:

Councillor Cathie Ounsted:

Director Vic Derman:

Director Barb Desjardins:

Director Wendal Milne:

Close to 100 residents took time out of their work or home life to attend the CRD’s Environmental Services Committee meeting.  A number of CRD Directors expressed sympathy for the plight of Central Saanich residents and about the unintended consequences of the CRD’s decision to issue private recycler licences. 

Barbara Desjardins of Esquimalt asked the Committee to refrain from applying more bandaid solutions to the issue of waste management, asking for a policy that was long-term and good for the entire region.  Wendal Milne of Sooke stated that he considered the CRD to have been “hellbent” in its actions, and Vic Derman of Saanich spoke of how unacceptable is the situation in Central Saanich, and how this has been a failure of decision-making.  He spoke of gasification and the benefits of an integrated approach to dealing with all waste materials.  And Dean Fortin of Victoria, stating that it is “inappropriate to continue with the facility in Central Saanich,” asked staff present to follow the money trail. 

The Committee voted to keep trucking waste upisland and to Hartland, if needed, until their next meeting on October 23.

Could the CRD build a proper, state-of-the-art waste composting facility at Hartland – a site already in use, with its established truck traffic and noise - and make money?  The quality of the compost would be guaranteed by a public facility, and the CRD could make money selling that clean compost to farms, garden centres and other outlets.  Now there’s a plan whose time has come!

Sept. 25:  Town Hall Meeting

Video at:

Filmed & edited for time by friends of Stop the Stink, Richard & Ed

Close to 300 Central Saanich residents attended the Town Hall Meeting at Keating Elementary.  The overflow crowd asked many probing questions of our Mayor and the five Councillors who attended.  Councillor Zeb King ably moderated the Town Hall, and suggestions from residents were noted for consideration by our municipality. 

A number of interesting points:  Mayor Bryson clearly stated that the compost plant is “not accessory to farm use” but an actual business on farm land.  The ALC was pointed to again and again as needing to be at the table; so far the ALC has continued to postpone its determination of whether this waste business is a valid farm activity, and our Councillors, notably Ryan Windsor, are frustrated in attempts to get ALC’s Colin Fry and Ron McLeod to join in the Multi-Agency Meeting with residents, now rescheduled to October 15.   

Also frustrating was the silence of Dr. Richard Stanwick on the health issues residents have notified him about.  Our Mayor wrote to VIHA (now Island Health) about our health concerns, and contrary to news reports, stated that VIHA had not been told by Central Saanich that there weren’t any health worries.   Mayor Bryson and Council were urged to pressure Island Health to do air quality testing.

Suspension News

"There was a hearing held ... regarding the license suspension [of Foundation Organics.]  The results of the hearing will likely not be known until early October.  In the meantime, the conditional suspension regarding acceptance and processing of food waste will remain in place."

- Russ Smith,  Senior Manager, CRD Environmental Resource Management

Sept. 26: 
It's been confirmed by neighbours of the plant that food waste apparently continues to be accepted at that site, in spite of the suspension.  Organico, a company in which the waste operators have ownership, was observed delivering there yesterday.


Mayor and Council Step Up

Mayor Writes to CRD

From PNR, September 13

"Central Saanich says to complain to the CRD...Meanwhile, Tanner Ridge, the middle child or poor cousin gets...a smell that would make an untreated porta-potty seem like a walk at Butchart Gardens.

S. Walker, Central Saanich

Neighbours keep fighting to Stop the Stink

Central Saanich waste compost facility, CRD

discuss restarting operations






The Tanner Ridge, Martindale and Hunt Valley Community Website:

A place to find information of concern to homeowners, residents and recreational users of our communities.

 ·      We are Central Saanich residents, farmers and recreational users who advocate for responsible farming and composting practices that benefit our valued agricultural land. 

·      We believe everyone has the right to clean, healthy air and to the enjoyment of home and property. 

·      We consider the quality of our shared airspace to be of paramount importance to our health, to our lives and to our property values.

September 2013:  Letter of Apology

Should Central Saanich, the CRD and this community, which has been so badly affected, take this apology at face value?  Are we ready to accept an industrial facility on farmland if it promises to do better?

The stupid neither forgive nor forget;
the naive forgive and forget;
the wise forgive but do not forget."

Thomas Szasz, psychiatrist

Stanhope's Apology
Stanhope Letter


What a clever ruse to blame the volume of food waste from the CRD as the problem; however, in August when the CRD withdrew their contract, the story was that it wouldn't make much difference to their operation. Then they claimed that the CRD's contract made up only a small portion of their operation. Do they think we forget?

They also did not apologize for breaking bylaws by continuing to receive waste while under license suspension, for selling compost or for using the farm as a waste sorting facility.

Kay Dyer

Community in Crisis:

The "Compost Cough" is Rampant

Health Top Concern

Sept. 21: Thanks to a sharp-eyed Forum user, with an equally sharp memory, we've learned that  a composting facility located adjacent to Victoria General Hospital was shut down due to health concerns.

Here's the fascinating text from the News Gazette almost 10 years ago: 

"Although no tests were performed to determine if the operation posed a health risk, View Royal ordered the company to close in June 2004 under a nuisance bylaw, because of the foul smell.A letter to View Royal council from Capital Regional District chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick said medical literature suggests exposure to fungal spores, commonly generated at composting operations where vegetation is rotting, can be unsafe for people with compromised immune systems."

The Times-Colonist reported in June 2004:  Then-Mayor of View Royal Graham Hill was reported as saying: "We also heard reportss about the odour causing nausea in various people...and a doctor was made ill by the smell.  We do have a nuisance bylaw that provides relief from 'an unreasonable interruption' of your use and enjoyment of your property, and we felt the odours coming from the operation represented an unreasonable interruption of that enjoyment."

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Chief Medical Officer of Island Health (formerly VIHA) has been mysteriously silent (not responding to emails and letters) - on this issue.  But not on air quality where he crusades to have more stringent non-smoking laws.  Does this make any sense?

Compost and Legionnaire's Disease?

A new study has found that more than half of commercially-available composts in the United Kingdom harbour the bacteria responsible for Legionnaire's disease, a potentially deadly form of pneumonia.

This latest study, published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, found the bacteria in 15 out of 24 commercially-available composts.

The composition of the compost may play a role in its bacteria-bearing ability. The study authors note that UK compost used to be made mostly from peat, but now contains more wood residues, such as sawdust...Contaminated Australia compost from 1989 was made from wood scraps.

from Royan Viggers, Central Saanich

Read All About It!
CRD's "Consultation Process" Laid Bare

Is this fourth level of government serving us?

Sept. 17: UVic's Environmental Law Clinic
Considers Taking Case

UVic's ELC is an academic program for aspiring
environmental lawyers.  The ELC provides legal assistance to community groups and advocates for environmental law reform.

The ELC was approached by a group of Central Saanich residents, and we're pleased to report that a law student has agreed to write a proposal for presentation to the decision-making panel of the ELC.

If given the go-ahead, a group of law students will then write a model regulatory framework to govern all future composting facilities in B.C.

While this may not directly help in our fight in Central Saanich, it will demonstrate to government agencies and other communities that a better set of regulations are desperately needed.


August 2013

From the Vancouver Sun...August 31

Stephen Hume: Compost leaves a smelly trail of unintended consequences

Foundation Organics Violates License Suspension

Composting Facility in Central Saanich to fight CRD licence suspension in court


Battle Won, War Is Not Over

The Capital Regional District has conditionally suspended the licence issued to Stanhope Dairy Farm and applicable to the Foundation Organics Ltd. composting facility on Old East Road following the issuance of a number of warning notices." CRD Information Bulletin August 20, 2013

It is important to note that the suspension is conditional. Unfortunately, at this time, it is not known what changes have to be made for the operations of Foundation organics to resume.



Suspension Notices Issued to Foundation Organics Composting Facility Victoria, BC  

CRD Press Release

Information Bulletin
For Immediate Release
August 1, 2013

Suspension Notices Issued to Foundation Organics Composting Facility Victoria, BC -- The Capital Regional District has issued several suspension notices to the operators of the Foundation Organics composting facility. This will result in a significant decrease in organic material being delivered to the Foundation Organics facility and is anticipated to have a positive impact on operational concerns with the facility. Continued non-compliance will result in suspension of Foundation Organics' operating license. In 2004, the Capital Regional District developed the Composting Facilities Regulation Bylaw (Bylaw 2736) to regulate the operation of composting facilities in the region. The purpose of licensing composting facilities is to ensure they do not contaminate ground or surface water, or generate unacceptable levels of nuisance odour, vectors, litter or dust. In addition to CRD Bylaw 2736, composting facilities must comply with the BC Organic Matter Regulation, BC Agriculture Waste Control Regulation, the host municipality's bylaws, Workers' Compensation Board regulations and other applicable regulations. The CRD is committed to doing its part to resolve this issue and has significantly increased its investigation and enforcement activity to ensure that there will be improvements, including odour management, at the Foundation Organics facility in the near future. -30- Russ Smith, Senior Manager CRD Environmental Resource Management


August 1, 2013

Suspension Notices Issued to Foundation Organics Composting Facility Victoria, BC -- The Capital Regional District has issued several suspension notices to the operators of the Foundation Organics composting facility. This will result in a significant decrease in organic material being delivered to the Foundation Organics facility and is anticipated to have a positive impact on operational concerns with the facility. More.......


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.


262 people of Tanner Ridge signed the letter which called for immediate action to either close or relocate the composting facility operating on Stanhope Farms.

The letters to the Premier, Environment, Health, Tourism and Small Business ministers and media (CTV Vancouver and The National - CBC) were mailed today. (August 20, 2013 ed.)

262 people of Tanner Ridge signed the letter which calls for immediate action to either close or relocate the composting facility operating on Stanhope Farms. Nine full signature pages were attached to each of the letters sent except the two letters to the media.

We'd like to thank you for the great participation and hope that all this joint effort will produce the desired result for all of us - Stop the Stink.

We will have to keep fighting not just the stink, but the total indifference of our municipality and CRD.
All the best to all of you, Sanda and Dan
To The Honourable Christy Clark.pdf

Premier Christy Clark's Response to Community Petition

Coming to a farm near you

So what exactly is all the fuss about on Tanner Ridge? I want to share with you what it is like to find yourself in the middle of an industrial size composting experiment and why I think it all came about.

We were told that the Hartland Landfill was getting stretched to its maximum and to help alleviate this problem compostable garbage had to be handled in a different way else where. As it happened, this dovetailed nicely with the Agricultural Land Commission’s Policy that a farmer could take 10,000 tons a year on to his property for the replenishment of his soil. Sounds like a perfect match.

Composting, as most of us know it, consists of turning plant matter back into earth. However, composting on an industrial level is not remotely similar because we are now talking about plant waste that has been cooked and even meats, all neatly wrapped up in bags. I will freely admit that I do not know how we can mulch up plastic bags and then sift it out again. It is complex to be sure.

All this is pushed through a process that is noisy and smelly in the extreme. Sorry to be so graphic but since we have been forced to inhale it day after day and week after week, you should be able to read it—it smells like the worst diaper you can imagine, combined with a bucket of vomit with a topping off of ammonia. I bet your backyard composter never smelled like this. It makes your eyes water, your nasal passages feel like they are on fire, your throat ache—and sadly some of us even experience a lingering taste of it. Of course headaches can be expected and since we were subject to this so intensely through out the summer, the headaches simply lingered on.

Accompanying this was a sense of agitation, restless sleep and lethargy. People with asthma can barely breathe. For those living in the inner ring of “ground zero”—the first 400 meters-- we have the additional stress of hearing the grinders turn off and on throughout the night.

Then I began to even question the value of the end product—since I wasn’t sleeping anyhow. Is compost, laced with meat and unmentioned other substances thrown into the mix, even good for the land. It made me think back to when it was decided by scientists, and embraced by cattle farmers, that is was a good idea to take the parts of butchered cattle and make it into food for their cows. It seemed a brilliant idea because it created cheap food that was full of nutrients and was good for profit. It was quickly embraced in several countries. Then they noticed that their cows were becoming very sick and acting oddly. The poor beasts were able to stagger to their feet long enough to be taken to market. In Britain, the first people fell ill with similar symptoms exhibited in the cattle. Fortunately for the rest of us, it became evident that it was linked to the meat, before it became a world wide catastrophe. It remained a puzzle why the cows were sick until a brilliant scientist saw what the cows were being fed and recalled seeing the same traits and health problems in a group of cannibals.

The cattle industry had, in effect, turned their cows into cannibals. This was a perfect example of a recycling project gone awry. There were fears that it would destroy the cattle industry because the practice of feeding cows to cows was so wide spread. It only served to prove that just because a practice is enthusiastically embraced and implemented doesn’t mean it will prove to be sound.

So I ask you—is there any potential hazard in feeding our earth with processed meat etc.? Who is testing this compost? Will we know in the first 10,000 tons that the farmer puts on his land or the second 10,000 tons the following year? Maybe critical mass could be ten years and 100,000 tons. I have a hard time even picturing 10,000 tons.

At this time, we have a relatively new composting system that has put putrid air into our community, created noise, dust and an end product that deserves scrutiny. And if you have decided that this is not your problem—it is just a bunch of whiney babies in Central Saanich—then I hate to burst through your protective bubble. Any farm with enough land can partake in this type of composting industry and another farm in the Island View Valley has already signed a contract with the Municipality of Saanich to take their compostable garbage. Other farms have expressed interest and there is plenty of garbage to go around. It is an ever growing industry.

I have always loved how our farms and residential areas intersect and coexist. What other cities have farms like the Blenkensop Valley so close to the high density population of the city. I love the unique beauty of our city and country side and want to protect it. So when I say “coming to a farm near you” it is with immense sadness and compassion.

In short, we need to find a better way to handle our waste issue. I personally feel it needs to be stringently regulated and handled by professionals. We wouldn’t consider leaving our water supply to a non-professional. We wouldn’t entertain the possible risks. Waste can be toxic and dangerous if not handled correctly. Off-gassing can escape and cover wide areas. Have we been prudent in our rush to recycle and go green in this way? What are the possible consequences? Why do we, as intelligent beings, have to keep learning things the hard way, as in the cattle industry?

Right now Tanner Ridge residents are paying a very steep price as we became unwilling participants in this composting project. We are your canaries in the coal mine. We are sounding the warning. The facility near us simply opened the door for more to follow. Is your community next? We had no clue until it happened to us.

Brenda Antonson
Tanner Ridge Resident

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