From her rooftop deck, Linda Klein looks out at the waste facility across the street in James Bay. “When the compostable garbage is there you’re going to smell it,” Klein said.
She is upset with the new waste facility directly across Dallas Road. When cruise ships arrive, waste is unloaded onto trucks, that drive here. It’s sorted, then re-loaded onto trucks and taken to recycling facilities. It’s all come as a surprise to residents.
“It was like, where did this come from? it just popped up out of nowhere. how did they do this, how are they able to make this into a garbage facility? We have no idea,” Klein said.
According to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s Brian Cant, there is no garbage in these bins. The contract to a BC-based company takes recyclables. Cant said it contains no garbage, and no food scraps.
“The cruise lines choose Victoria because B.C has some of the toughest environmental regulations around waste disposal,” Cant said.
The terminal started accepting waste 15 years ago. And even though the number of cruise ships is increasing, the company operating the waste facility, Tymac Launch Service, said the amount of waste they unload is actually decreasing. Tymac vice-president Steve Hnatko said that’s due to the efficiency of the larger ships.
“In theory with more ships coming in you would anticipate there would be more products. But what we’ve noticed is that is not the case. we’re having the same amount of volume as we have had in the past. and in some cases, less,” Hnatko said.
Tymac’s staff work on the cruise ships to reduce waste coming into port. But locals like Klein remain concerned with the change in operations. And the first impression it creates for tourists arriving at Odgen Point.
“Welcome to Victoria. Instead of the city of gardens, it’s now the city of garbage,” Klein said.
1,000 tonnes is taken off the ships in the six month cruise season. In comparison, the entire CRD generates 150,000 tonnes of material in a year.