Compost facility eyed for Sooke

District of Sooke council is backing project through a letter of support.

A compost waste company is proposing to build a multi-million-dollar facility in the Sooke region for a second time.

District of Sooke council is backing it through a letter of support.

Net Zero Waste hopes to begin talks with T’Sou-ke First Nation this month on the plan and a possible partnership, said Mateo Ocejo, director of Net Zero Waste.

The facility would be about two hectares in size and employ up to 12 people.

Net Zero Waste put together a proposal in 2010 to build a facility in Sooke on the EPCOR Water Services site on West Coast Road. It was approved by the Capital Regional District but later turned down following the civic election.

The CRD has a landfill restriction on kitchen scraps and currently diverts most of the waste to facilities in Cobble Hill and Richmond.

“It’s not a matter of if the CRD is going to build [a compost facility]. It’s a matter of when and where,” Ocejo said.

Members of Sooke council favoured the plan on principle, but shied away from any thoughts of partnership or the exchange of cash.

“I want to be guarded on the level of support,” Coun. Rick Kasper told Ocejo at a committee-of-the-whole meeting last Wednesday.

“I wouldn’t want anyone to think we’re going to go into a partnership with you and enter into a contract and we’re giving our blessing.”

Ocejo said without the letter of support it would be difficult to get any attention from other levels of government, suppliers and investors.

“This doesn’t mean I’ll be able to build a facility. It means you’re going to consider something again.”

Council did agree to write the letter, but will make changes to a similar letter it wrote  in 2010 at the urging of Mayor Maja Tait. The letter will be presented at a future council meeting.

Kasper said Sooke has many under-utilized industrial and agricultural land that he would like to see considered if the compost facility goes ahead.

Ocejo added he is open to anyone with land willing to discuss the possibility of a facility on their land.