Producer’s Pit Open-House

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Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited

Education and awareness are key components of a successful biosolids land application program.  Lehigh Producer’s Pit, located west of Victoria on Vancouver Island, required topsoil for mine reclamation and closure activities.  Planning ahead for their closure, Lehigh contracted SYLVIS to initiate a topsoil fabrication facility using biosolids.  The biosolids fabrication and reclamation program would be supported by effective consultation and education.

As part of the stakeholder consultation program, SYLVIS hosted an open house at Producer’s Pit.  Invitations were extended to key stakeholders including Producer’s Pit staff, contractors and clients; neighbours; non-government organizations; and members of local and regional governments.  Approximately 700 people attended the open-house which also received local media coverage. 

Attendees toured the demonstration plots and learned about the reclamation program by viewing posters, fertilizers and soil amendments, and through interaction with SYLVIS staff, biosolids generators and mine staff.  An educational component of the open house focused on the importance of nutrients in reclamation, highlighted the opportunities for biosolids use and provided information on local vegetation.

A survey was distributed to encourage attendees to read the information provided and to engage with staff.  Comments received indicated that the consultation program had been effective with the majority of attendees acknowledging their awareness and support of the biosolids use program.  Ninety-five (95) percent of those that completed the survey supported the use of biosolids in reclamation of Producer’s Pit.

Following the open-house SYLVIS followed up with key individuals from the local government providing a letter summarizing the event, copies of education and promotional information, and contact information to answer any future questions.

Through completion of the open house and other consultation and education programs at Producer’s Pit, SYLVIS built the foundation for a successful biosolids use program which provided beneficial use opportunities for three local generators concurrent with reclamation of the mine site.