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Absorbent manufacturing plant permit in Mountain View County approved

Collection and processing of non-hazardous waste approved for property east of Sundre at Highway 22 and Highway 27

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s municipal planning commission (MPC) has approved a development permit for a Harvest Recycling absorbent manufacturing plant east of Sundre.

The approval came during the commission’s recent regularly scheduled meeting, held in person and online.

The plant will be located in the Cowboy Trail Industrial Business Park at Highway 27 and Highway 22 east of Sundre, at SE 34-32-4-5.

It will be located in an existing 7,000 square-foot building at the site that was built in 2016 for commercial storage use.

“The applicants have indicated that they will be using the subject property and building for the collection and processing of non-hazardous waste that typically consists of food waste, mixed office waste, and mixed commercial/industrial waste,” administration said in a briefing note to the commission.

“The waste will then be processed into an absorbent product that will be used for application with oil companies, mechanic shops, and similar environment where oil spills are likely.”

The application by Harvest Recycling states that the waste will be collected in the indoor facility.

“The waste will be ground up and loaded into a dryer, which will run for approximately 10 hours after which the waste is turned into a powdered form. The powdered material is then packaged and shipped off site.”

The entire process takes place indoors and “once the waste is received, it is immediately processed to avoid smell and attracting of rodents.”

“The application indicates that the only emission from the process is steam and state-of-the-art air pollution control systems will be used to ensure odours and emissions are managed properly.”

The finished product will be held in covered bins outdoors.

In a letter received by the commission, the applicant said, in part, “The production of absorbent from renewable sources aligns with the growing market demand for sustainable products. 

“We believe that the establishment of this facility in Mountain View County will not only contribute to the local economy but also foster environmentally conscious practices in the region.”

Administration supported the application, saying it adhered to the land use bylaw.

During the Oct. 5 meeting, councillor and commission member Alan Miller asked if measures would be put in place to keep bears and other wildlife out of the facility.

Coun. Peggy Johnson asked about the source of the waste and what it entails. In response, the applicant said the material will come from area restaurants, grocery stores and private homes in the area and outside the area. 

The development permit approval comes with a number of conditions, including the following:

• All loads leaving the site shall be tarped to prevent spillage of rocks and gravel on the roads.

• The applicant, landowner and/or operator are required to incorporate BearSmart principles into their proposal.

• The applicant, landowner and/or operator shall prepare an emergency response plan and provide copies to the county and the Sundre Fire Department.

• The applicant, landowner and/or operator shall ensure that all conditions of the Alberta Fire Code, by an accredited safety codes officer, have been met.

• The applicant must dispose of excess garbage or recycling materials, chemicals and/or scrap metal collected and contained on site in a timely manner to prevent possible soil contamination or odour issues.

• The applicant shall organize the storage on the lot so that it is orderly, and the appearance shall be to the satisfaction of Mountain View County and will be reviewed periodically.

• The applicant shall meet any standards and obtain any approvals and inspections as required by Alberta Environment and Parks.

The county's MPC is made up of county councillors and appointed members of the public.

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