11/21/2013 03:02 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Metro Vancouver eyes 6 sites for waste incinerator

Metro Vancouver staff have identified six potential sites for a new waste-to-energy incinerator for the Lower Mainland.

The regional authority says the sites — two of which are in South Vancouver, two in Delta, one in Nanaimo and one on Squamish land near Port Mellon — have been short listed only and are not necessarily considered viable at this point.  Six other sites are also under consideration, though their locations were not being released on Thursday.

Metro wants to build a bigger facility to replace the aging waste-to-energy facility in Burnaby by 2018.

Currently the Burnaby-based incinerator burns 280,000 tonnes of garbage annually, while a new incinerator would burn an estimated 370,000 tonnes each year.

Neighbouring district opposes plan

But according to Sharon Gaetz, the Mayor of Chilliwack and Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District, an incinerator anywhere in the Lower Mainland is a bad idea, as residents in her region will have to breath in the garbage that Metro burns.

"We have tried to maintain really good relationships with our neighbours, but its getting more and more difficult,” says Gaetz.

“Almost unanimously we have said to Metro, 'No, we do not want it,' and yet we have been completely rebuffed and in fact ignored.”

Gaetz says the technology doesn’t exist to screen out the pollutants that threaten both residents’ health and the food grown in the Fraser Valley.

“Everyone who leads in environment says incineration is a backwards way to go."