Biosolids Composting Permit Application

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City of Kelowna

The Regional Biosolids Composting Facility (RBCF) located in Vernon, BC, was established in 2006 by the City of Kelowna (CoK), in partnership with the City of Vernon. The RBCF composts dewatered sewage sludge from the CoK Waste Water Treatment Facility, the Vernon Water Reclamation Centre, the District of Lake Country Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the North Okanagan Regional District Septage Utility Facility using an extended aerated static pile (ASP) composting system. The finished product is classified as a Class A compost and is marketed as a soil amendment under the name OgoGrow. 

Since opening, the RBCF has operated under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation (OMRR). On June 9th 2016, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) amended OMRR with respect to large compositing facilities that process food waste or biosolids, and have a design production capacity of 5,000 dry tonnes, or greater, of finished compost per year.  As the RBCF processes biosolids and has a design capacity in excess of 10,000 dt of finished compost, the facility was required to submit an application for a permit.

Acting as CoK’s Agent, SYLVIS, in consultation with the CoK, reviewed, collated and identified key information contained within the existing RBCF documents, then submitted the Permit application and relevant supporting documentation as part of the application package for the Permit. SYLVIS facilitated all public and First Nations consultation, as outlined in the Permit process, and prepared a consultation report on the City’s behalf. The objective of the consultation process was to identify concerns from members of the public, relevant government agencies, and identified First Nations groups early in the Permit process so that those concerns could be addressed as transparently as possible.

As Agent, SYLVIS navigated the project to a successful outcome; the CoK was issued a Permit to compost biosolids at the RCBF. Through strong engagement with the MoE and the CoK, Stakeholders made important recommendations for actions and improvements to the system which were incorporated successfully into the permit, improving key relationships between CoK and their Stakeholders, and ensuring the continuation of a successful composting program at the CoK.