Salish Soils, an organic fish composting company in Sechelt has received lots of accolades for their business reclaiming bio waste, however the by-product of production, a foul odour, has local residents raising a stink. This article is aimed at having a positive discussion and outcome that benefits everyone in the community.
All this summer, I have experienced first hand a putrid smell wafting over the village making me dry heave.
One friend commented to be while I was having coffee at the Daily Roast “Nothing like waking up to the smell of warm shit on a summer’s morning!”
I have been told that members of the Shishalh Nation have circulated a petition fed up with the smell emanating from the company coming not far from the Village of Sechelt, just next door to the Construction Aggregates mining operation.
I was also emailed photos and a copy of a complaint form you can get from the District of Sechelt Office. (see below)
I have been reluctant to stick my nose into this issue and say anything myself, fearful I will be accused of picking on the company. This has happened to me before when I brought up rumours of a Walmart coming to Sechelt.
And indeed just as I feared, some people have commented that this is nothing more then a witch hunt.
I have decided to go full steam ahead and air the concerns expressed on my social media networks by you, the people of Sechelt, so we can discuss this openly together.
I have no malice towards the company, and think its fantastic that they are reclaiming waste that would otherwise clog our landfill.
This conversation is about the smell, which is thicker then the Sewage Treatment Plant next to the beaver/duck pond, and well, in my opinion only, the controversy over Target Marine’s sturgeon hatchery smelling pales in comparison, and is barely detectable if at all from all my sniff tests and tours of the hatchery.
My hope is that as Salish Soils goes through its growing pains they will listen to the residents and contain the smell or maybe move that part of their operation to the sturgeon hatchery *grin*
You can add your thoughts in the reply/comment box below. (comments are moderated)
Air wafting over Sechelt this morning was so putrid I started to dry heave!
I am getting so sick of that smell. It is putrid. I can even smell it in my office YUCK
I believe they are flipping the compost at Salish Soils. It’s REALLY ripe up by the dump.
it’s really terrible!
It could be the fertilizer they use at the gravel pit for reclamation. It’s made from human shit! Glad I live in Pender Harbour, where the only smells are low tide and two-stroke boat gas.
The smell has been bad all summer long. Some days it is riper than others. Great way to welcome the tourists…
Its not the gravel pit, they havent sprayed in along time.They only spray when there is land to be reclaimed which takes time to mine out.
It’s Salish Soil, I believe. We live just down from it and its so bad we can’t sit on our deck without gagging. It’s terrible. I know they are doing great things there, but seriously!? There should be laws against producing such a stink and it bothering so many people! Who we can contact to complain to? Something needs to be done. There are laws against noise disturbances and such…why not stinking piles of rotting fish that are wafting all over the Sechelt area? Blah…
Cailey R. Ratbone
I smell something gross in the air in Sechelt some evenings. (Reminds me of living near a dump or pulp mill!) Thankfully I cannot smell it at my house!
I contacted the District and they informed me that I need to call the SIB and file a complaint…which I did. If others call maybe we’ll get somewhere!
That smell means jobs. Breathe it in and enjoy it…
It is the growing pains of a new industry. From what I understand an entrepreneur from the Band has developed a compost facility that turns green waste into a valuable commodity. The trial project is nearly complete and they are commencing construction of a self- contained facility that will, by mid-winter be up and running. Once this facility is completed there should be no more issues with smell. I for one cheer on members of the Sechelt Band (or any one for that matter) that shows this much tenacity in developing industry and employment locally.
I am a sechelt band member and I live a block and a half away from Salish Soils and I am so frustrated and fed up with the stink so I have written formal complaints to the Sechelt Chief and Council, the Sechelt District, Nick Simons MLA, Terry Lake Minister of Environment, Christy Clark Premier and Chief Shawn Atleo National chief of the Assembly of First Nations. I urge all of you to google “environmental impacts and health harzards of commercial composting” and if you have complaints put them in writing and submit letters and submit to the SIB. There ARE municiple, provincial and federal regulations these facilities must adhere to! Add me on FB and scroll down my page, I have a tons of articles. Another Sechelt band member started a petition with 70 signatures from band members the first day!! Take action people!!
“The health, safety and quality of life of the masses far out weight the financial benefit of the very few”
I work at south coast ford- on the other side of the fence. I’m growing accustomed to my morning dry heaves, at least I know it’s just Salish soils and not pregnancy. Seriously though- more carbon in the shit pile means less stink- its a balance thing and it works. Salish soils needs to team up with a tree service. Carbon.
maybe the can work on harnessing the methane and use it as a fuel to power the operrations?
I don’t know about all of you, but I don’t want to be exposed to or for my husband and our FIVE kids to be breathing in any potentially harmful ANYTHING! I want to breathe clean air!! No amount of money someone else makes will be enough for me to say this is ok!! We are all paying the price for someone else to make money….
It feels good to connect with like minded people. I felt so alone in my frustration with the overpowering and unavoidable stench that blankets our community. Together we can make a difference HOORAY!!
Oh my, that’s really a shame. It kind of spoils the impression everyone has of the pristine west coast. Garth, you will likely remember the old Firestone plant on Burlington St. It has been converted to a composting plant, and there are days when it reeks to high heaven, but you kind of expect that in Hamilton’s industrial core. I applaud the intention of the of the composting industry, we need to find some way of handling our garbage other than throwing it into landfill sites, but there has to be some way to make it less odious. The City gives the compost away free of charge in the spring. Do I use it? NO WAY!!! I have no idea what’s in it and refuse to use it in my vegetable or flower gardens.
Are you sure it’s not the sewage treatment plant on Trail ?
Sunshine Coast BC Canada
I’ve been on the coast for over (cough cough) years and the STP ain’t never smelled that bad. Even growing up in Ladner, BC near the Landfill it was never that bad. Neither is Port Smellon! I thought it was the garbage dump or recycling facility perhaps? Duane Burnett
The STP is the only smell I ever notice here. Salish soils smells like fish. Isn’t the STP supposed to move up to Dusty Road sometime?
I was canoeing from the lighthouse dock to the provincial park past Poise Island last Monday is smelled awful the whole paddle over and it smelled terrible during our lunch at the park. No, it wasn’t STP which has a very distinct odour! We all know what STP smells like….
That stench is sooo bad,I feel for all the sick people in the hospital that have to endure that along with their illness. Sechelt people need to put a stop to this…
Duane, it is not a constant stench.It comes and goes,I work nites at St.Marys and the smelll is more prominent then. It leeches in to every crevice of the hospital.
Those poor sick people at the Hospital trying to recover and heal in that disgusting smell. All the Dr’s, nurses and staff forced to endure it during their work hours. YUCK
William Joel Baturin
Here’s the thing, Salish Soils has violated numerous federal and provincial laws and guidelines, and because it’s on SIB lands they are responsible (or irresponsible) for enforcing them. A commercial composting plant isn’t allowed to be built within 2km of a hospital (like St.Mary’s literally next door), or 1km of a sports facility (like Ted Dixon field) or a fuel depot (like Stephansons a block away). Period.
Look up what VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) a commercial composting plant produces, that horrible stink is carrying toxic chemicals around our community. Also the process gives off a huge amount of CO2. It’s not the “eco-friendly” business it sells itself as.
Another interesting point to think about, is that they use “left-over” farmed fish to make their soil. Last I checked all that fish was carrying some pretty nasty diseases… I wouldn’t use that soil in my garden if you paid me.
From Waste to Wonderful
A look at the people behind the company Salish soils.
Raising a stink! I was emailed a District of Sechelt bylaw form by a local upset with the foul air who wants to share it with you. I have heard a petition has also been circulated by the band. Forms can be picked up at the District Office. …
I have no issue with the business itself, great to see a successful green operation. I do however dislike dry heaving. How do you feel about it? Don’t shoot the messenger, I am merely an online editor for the Sunshine Coast sharing your concerns so we can have a community discussion ♥
William Joel Baturin There is a huge misconception (or false impression given) that Salish Soils is a “green” business. It’s not. Commercial composting gives off HUGE amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere (goodbye ozone layer) and releases toxic VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) into our community. This is because they cover the soil and pump accelerants (like hydrogen and oxygen) into the soil to speed up the decomposition process. This creates some very unhealthy chemicals that mammals are not supposed to be breathing in.
Blair Joe its a good business it just should be far away from community so nobody has to smell it
William Joel Baturin
They also use the leftover (dead and/or diseased) salmon from fish farms in their soil. The same fish farms that are constantly in the news with outbreaks of lice and viruses (look up IHN, it’s like a rotting flesh disease for salmon). Make no mistake, this is not the “eco-friendly” business it portrays itself to be. It’s just like any other business trying to make money and sell itself as “green”…
Did I mention that federal and provincial laws say a commercial compost plant isn’t allowed to be built within 2km of a hospital (like St. Marys)? Or within 1km of a sports facility/field (like Ted Dixon)? Or a gas station/fuel depot (like Stephansons)? Call/write/email the Sechelt Indian Band and ask them why they don’t enforce our Canadian laws either?
We are so politically correct and hypocritical as a society that we assume that if a business is run by indigenous interests then it is good and just must be accommodated even if it is polluting and foul. What a crock of BS that kind of thinking is. A commercial large scale composting plant like this one creates air born toxins and damages the atmosphere and should not be allowed.
went to extra foods last night and experienced such a disgusting smell. so wrong!
How come nobody complains about or mentions the disgusting smell that comes from construction aggregates when they spray human waste and we have to breathe it in????? Or the fact that u can dust your furniture in the morning and by the middle of the afternoon the dust settles an looks like you haven’t dusted in a month. How healthy is it for us to be breathing in all the airborne dust and dirt 7 days a week????? Shall we start a petition over this as well?
I have yet to see a clear definition of this awful smell that I myself have not noticed. Salish Soils smells like fish. I have been there often and my garden loves their compost. The STP smells like methane. This I have noticed often around the marsh. Then there is the landfill that smells like old garbage. If you’re not sure how to define the smell there are 3 possible sources you can visit to confirm. Is there a fourth option? Witch hunts should not be supported!
William Joel Baturin
There’s no “witch-hunt” as anyone who lives nearby clearly knows the difference. Bring your kids and come down to the Bayview and hang around Stephansons Fuels around 8-9pm, and you’ll be overwhelmed by a toxic and truly foul odour. It’s not like this is just a few people saying this, everywhere in North America where there is commercial composting there is strong opposition to it. And communities have been very successful in protecting themselves against these polluters.
Salish Soils, Sechelt, BC.
Just because you Caren do not smell the stench is an invalid argument on it’s own. Those who live in the area are being directly affected on a daily basis and have perfectly good reason to lodge a formal complaint and should! This is not a witch hunt Caren. Witch hunts were bases upon uneducated, mass hysteria by ignorant people towards a religious/spiritual belief system. There is nothing religious or spiritual about commercial composting. What we are talking about are legitimate complaints from highly educated people. I have posted a link to a document and if you scroll down to Appendix C you will see a chart that will offer you some assistance in the “clear definition of the awful smell”. You might want to give the whole document a ‘once over’ Caren and educate yourself on this issue. There are clear guidelines that are being disregarded and these need to be addressed! I have more articles if you are interested…. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/mun-waste/regs/omrr/pdf/compost.pdf
Natan Five kids and I work full time, I can only handle one issue at a time. HAHA! I will pursue this until the finish! Then I will refocus my attention towards the spraying at Construction Aggregates, how’s that? Anyone else can fee free to write some complaint letters regarding the spraying at Cal Agg, by all means….
Some dear friends of mine just had their business licence revoked due to one cranky neighbour who wrote something like over 65 complaint letters. One neighbour!! That’s incredible!! That’s what I intend to do, just keep at it and keep at it and keep at it until it is resolved. One complaint letter from each of us is not enough. I will continue to write to anyone I think needs to become aware of this issue. This directly affects me and my children!! I refuse turn a blind eye any longer….
Friendly reminder ~ Don’t forget to submit a copy of your “incident report form” to the Sechelt Indian Band as well (for their files) Many thanks for this post! Reminds me how important this issue is….
I’ve noticed it, not good, pretty overwhelming today……
While a google search shows a facebook page for Salish Soils, the link is a dead end, the page seems to have been deleted.
I usually like to add links with each article and support “likes” of local pages by adding them as a FAVE on the Sunshine Coast BC Canada facebook page..
Good man thank you for all the hard work you are doing Good Job
Duane, ur an Angel. Seriously. Thank you Heaven for you! Planetary Healer. I and the world are indebted for your intelligence.
You do so Much for this Community and We Love you!
Hi Duane, You do an amazing job of promoting the Sunshine Coast to the world! Growing up, I spent every summer vacationing on the Coast with my family & loved every minute of it. I'm so jealous of my family and friends that still get to call it home. From your photos . . . you really do know how to enjoy life. Keep up the brilliant work. ♥.
Sherri Terrillon Eustace
Bravo!! I am very impressed with your PRODUCTION & message. There is such apathy in the tic- toc world of PROFIT and ME-ISM. You show great passion! Bravo
Robert Mac Donald
Hey nice “tease” posting, Duane!!! Even got a “Google Alert” about it! Cool! Thanks! Keep me posted! Have a great day,
You are a wonderful person helping others enjoy life on the Coast!
Dawn Fox, White Rock, BC
you have a great life, live in a great part of the world, you are doing wonderful things with your energy and everyone loves you..
Trish Thompson, Wilson Creek, BC
I am so proud to be your friend, you really have your heart and soul in the right place and you are doing a great job. I am so glad the ferries fired you or else we would never have had the benefit of all your energy for the coast and the rest of the planet. Bravo Duane!
Trish Thompson, Sunshine Coast, BC.
I love you Duane you are so much fun, you put a smile on everyones face...thanks my friend..
Heather Smith, Kamploops, BC.
I recently have become a subscriber and love your contribution to our community. My wife Sherry Taylor has worked at the District of Sechelt for nearly 25 years and her and I both appreciate the public being accurately informed of the happenings of the Sunshine Coast.
Jim Taylor, Sechelt, BC
You have a sunshine attitude and that is good..
Yvonne Mikulencak, Houston, Texas
I fully embrace the fact that you are a full time creator and a part time shit disturber.