GUEST EDITORIAL: Proposed Christina Lake Hazardous Waste Recycling Centre a Bad Idea

By Contributor
February 24th, 2009

By Rachel Witter

Recently, a company called Aquilini Renewable Energy submitted an application to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary requesting the re-zoning of a piece of property on Ponderosa Drive, about two minutes south of Christina Lake. This re-zoning would then allow Aquilini to construct a two-phase, petroleum-based hazardous waste reduction and recycling centre.

According to Aquilini, the first phase of this “recycling” facility will target waste and debris from the paint, aerospace, electronics, and oil and gas industries, including oily rags and un-recyclable petroleum waste solids and sludges from the petroleum refining industry. The materials targeted for the second phase of the facility would be wood waste, railway ties, un-recyclable car debris, and un-recyclable construction wastes.

This facility would be the first and only of its kind in all of North America, and as such would be taking in waste products from all over North America. Transport of these products to the facility would be conducted through rail and truck traffic in sealed containers using existing rail line and roads. Due to the sheer volume of industrial waste produced in North America, transport of the material into Christina Lake would most likely run 24/7.

This application was submitted by Aquilini in September of 2008, conveniently after almost 80% of Christina Lake’s population and property owners had left at the end of summer months. If not informed and given a chance to oppose this, residents and patrons of Christina Lake could conceivably come back in the summer of 2009 to find out they have a new and not so pleasant neighbor after it’s too late to do anything to stop it.

For more information on this, including Aquilini’s proposal to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundry, questions, concerns, contact info and a report by the Ponderosa Estates Residential Property Owners Association, please visit the RDKB website at


To sign the official online petition in opposition to the plan of constructing a Hazardous Waste Recycling Facility at Christina Lake, please visit


For additional information and resources, including contact lists, sample letters, meeting dates and a community action forum, please have a look at


An article regarding this that appeared in the Globe and Mail on February 9th


Free to voice your comments or concerns, but even if you don’t, please at least pass this along to anyone you know who is even remotely connected to Christina Lake and the Kootenays, or even anyone who might be interested to at least help get the word out. People who will be affected by this need the chance to make their voices heard before a decision is made that will impact a great many people.

The more people we can get informed and aware about this, the better chance we all have of keeping the gem of BC from becoming the hazardous waste capitol of North America.

Categories: Op/Ed

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