Producer's Pit Community Engagement

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Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited

Stakeholder education, consultation and involvement are of paramount importance in the acceptance of biosolids management programs.  SYLVIS worked with Lehigh Materials to implement a stakeholder consultation program for use of biosolids in the reclamation of Producer’s Pit, a 200 hectare sand and gravel mine located southwest of Victoria, on Vancouver Island.

To support the use of biosolids in topsoil fabrication, SYLVIS implemented a three phased approach to stakeholder consultation and reclamation.  The first phase involved the installation of biosolids-soil demonstration plots and the identification of stakeholders to allow an open, honest and transparent exchange of information. Demonstration plots were located in a highly visible part of the mine, adjacent to a beach access trail and a newly developed subdivision.

The second phase expanded upon the preliminary stakeholder consultation activities, including an open house and biosolids growing media evaluations. Approximately 700 people attended the initial open house which served to further strengthen the relationship with stakeholders.

The third phase involved ongoing stakeholder consultation and participation concurrent with operational reclamation and soil fabrication.  SYLVIS and Lehigh continued to work with stakeholders and the community, donating materials, labour and vegetation towards the restoration of a greenhouse owned by the Pacific Centre Family Services Association and donating wooden planter boxes planted with biosolids topsoil to local swim and baseball teams for a silent auction.  Signs placed in the planters explained that a fabricated biosolids growing medium was used.

SYLVIS worked with Lehigh on consultation activities throughout the lifetime of the biosolids soil fabrication program and the Producer's Pit Mine.  Effective consultation resulted in the successful use of biosolids from the Capital Regional District, the Regional District of Nanaimo and Metro Vancouver in the fabrication of greater than 23,000 m3 of soil which was land applied in reclamation of the mine site.