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Letters: Waste plan doesn’t make sense from business or ecological standpoint

Removal of Burnaby parkland to allow organic waste facility fails to add up from any angle, readers say.
Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park


Re: Mayor Q&A: Burnaby plan to build waste facility on wetlands a 'tough decision' — but necessary

I am wondering about the business plan for the proposed "GROW" plant?

Per the published article figures "The facility would cost Burnaby $182 million to build, and then you would save the $3.6 million currently spent on organic waste process. And you could potentially make about $1.8 million (on selling the excess capacity to other governments)".

RNG (renewable natural gas) prospect ― there are no numbers available?

Operational costs ― there are no numbers available?

The recovery of these costs appear to be somewhere above 50-plus years. 182/3.6 = 50.556. That’s without taking into account the operational and future capital costs for equipment repair and replacement, which would likely be paid by the unknown RNG and the possibility of selling excess capacity to other governments, which seems to be a stretch on he return on investments.

What is the possible carbon capture of the the new plant?

There are no numbers available. So would the "Grow" Plant actually help the climate emergency?

Sounds like this is a dream and what we would lose in parkland is just not worth the risk. Destroying our parkland is not a good business plan.

Don Anderson



We write to express our strong opposition to locating the proposed GROW facility in Fraser Foreshore Park.

We have been Burnaby residents for 36 years, and have always been proud of our city’s commitment to preserving green space. We have no objection to the facility in principle, but Fraser Foreshore Park, and all parkland dedicated by Burnaby citizens, must be off limits to commercial/industrial development of any kind.

It should be unthinkable to reverse a parkland dedication. The possibility of future dedications in no way justifies the un-doing of those already made. Council has a moral duty to respect the voice of Burnaby citizens.

Current signage in the park asks us to stay on the trails to “help preserve this ecologically sensitive area, which is crucial to the local biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Burnaby.” It is beyond hypocritical to expect certain behaviour of your citizens in the name of protecting a “crucial” ecosystem and then plan to pave over it.

Staff reports suggest this is the only suitable location in all Burnaby. Have they investigated the possibility of acquiring existing commercial/industrial land? Have they considered other locations in Metro Vancouver? Have other municipalities been consulted? According to the recent interview with Mike Hurley, no. Why not spearhead a cooperative regional approach? There may be suitably zoned land elsewhere in Metro Vancouver.

Burnaby has been only too happy to build warehouse after warehouse in the Big Bend area, with enormous surface parking lots. And now we are asked to believe the only solution to our dire climate emergency is to build on parkland of environmental significance. Council must respect Burnaby voters, reconsider this proposal, and find an alternative location for GROW that will not destroy such a valuable and rare natural area.

Cathy and Rick Milne



I'm upset that Burnaby parkland is again being stolen from the citizens of Burnaby and diverted to other uses such as waste recovery and, now, schools.

The city is using parkland acquired over the years as a land slush fund for schools, daycares, waste plants and who knows what else.

Why are these lands purchased as parks being diverted for other uses? Why have they not been developed as parks? All these years the citizens could have been using these lands but they have been hidden and unknown to us.

School site acquisition charges have been collected from the developers. Where is this money and why is it not being used to purchase land for the Brentwood area development?

Citizens of Burnaby need to ask where all the parkland is and insist that it be developed as accessible park for the citizens.

If money for school development received from developers is no longer enough then this needs to be increased.

Karin Alzner



I do not want park land removed for other use because there are other underutilized commercial lands very close to Foreshore Park.

The park is a habitat and sanctuary for wildlife and especially birds and insects.

This proposed recycling idea is a bad one.

Barry Warne


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