Vancouver company eyes Mount Seymour for industrial composting plant

Anaconda Systems Ltd. wants to open an industrial composting plant on Mount Seymour Road.

Anaconda Systems Ltd. wants to open an industrial composting plant on Mount Seymour Road

A Vancouver-based company has submitted an application to the provincial government to convert Crown land along Mount Seymour Road into an industrial composting facility. (Bernice Hillier/CBC)

There might be a new sight along the scenic drive up to Mount Seymour — but it might not be pretty.

Vancouver company Anaconda Systems Ltd. wants to open up a composting plant along Mt. Seymour Road. The group currently runs a composting plant in South Vancouver.

The company has made a proposal to the provincial government, asking to clear 31,220 square meters of forest on Crown land.

According to the application, "benefits of the project include the ability to reduce travel distances for waste collection trucks, axles on the roads, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in North Vancouver."

Food waste is generally trucked away from the North Shore to composting facilities in Vancouver and Richmond.

Residents along Mount Seymour Road are convinced the facility will emit odours, much like this composting facility in Richmond, B.C. (CBC)

Neighbourhood reacts

The waste management company did not return a call for comment from CBC News.

The proposal has already drawn criticism from locals and park advocates.

Michael Asch lives on Mount Seymour Road, and is concerned about odours and smells.

"The history of these types of plants is that they emit tremendous odours," said Asch. "This area is a recreation area, it's not meant as an industrial area."

"If this goes through, they may as well start building high rises on Mount Seymour."

Park advocate Steven Jones believes the facility could be a threat to nearby black bears. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Park user and advocate Steven Jones sees the benefit of having an industrial composting plant on the North Shore — but he's unsure if Mount Seymour is the place for the plant.

But Jones fears the scent of the factory will attract bears and other wildlife and put hikers and picnickers at risk.

"If it brings wildlife into the area, and there is human-wildlife conflicts, then ultimately the bears would have to be destroyed," he said.

"It's very exciting that they're improving composting on the North Shore ... but there's a few concerns on the impact it might have on wildlife, recreational users, and on the road and access to the park in general."

According to Anaconda Systems's application, the proposed site is located away from residential areas "to avoid drawing wildlife closer to civilization."

The application says the project is unlikely to produce a large amount of noise and odour.

The application is open for public comments until November 23.