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Metro delays unveiling of more incinerator sites

Metro Vancouver is delaying its plans to unveil more potential sites for a new waste-to-energy garbage incinerator and hold public meetings to gauge local support for them.

Instead, it's keeping as many as six sites proposed by various land owners under wraps until later this year.

Metro solid waste manager Paul Henderson said it's taking longer than anticipated for Metro's board to choose a short list of the undisclosed sites and then obtain options to purchase them.

Public consultations that had been tentatively planned for May in Nanaimo and on the Sunshine Coast for two other previously identified sites have also been shelved.

Nanaimo council voted April 14 to oppose a proposed incinerator site at Duke Point, with the mayor saying his city won't be known as Metro Vancouver's garbage dump.

Consultations had also been expected over a proposed site across Howe Sound at Port Mellon on Squamish Nation land, where Aquilini Renewable Energy wants to build an incinerator for Metro that would also tie in with plans to farm coho salmon and pharmaceutical algae.

Sunshine Coast regional district directors have also voted to oppose the project.

Two other sites that have been already been made public are in Delta, where Lehigh Cement would use garbage as fuel in place of coal, and in south Vancouver, where the City of Vancouver says it would welcome an alternative waste-to-energy plant that uses a non-incineration technology like gasification.

Henderson said it made sense to hold off on consultations on the already disclosed sites until the additional ones are released.

He said that may come next year after a second request for qualifications from Metro that narrows the number of incinerator proponents.

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