The model of air burner that the RDBN wishes to purchase is called a T-300 trench burner. (RDBN photo/Houston Today)

The model of air burner that the RDBN wishes to purchase is called a T-300 trench burner. (RDBN photo/Houston Today)

Air curtain burner purchased by RDBN

Device used for emission reduction of open burns

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) board of directors has pre-approved the purchase of an air curtain burner in the 2022 budget, which is a device that supplies high pressure air to a contained burn pit or box, primarily for emission reduction.

Currently, the RDBN open burns clean wood waste at the Clearview and Knockholt Landfills, and the Granisle and Southside Transfer Stations. The Knockholt landfill has been operating under an operations certificate amendment allowing open burning since 2003. Open burns are still permitted at other RDBN facilities.

According to RDBN Director of Environmental Services Alek Eriksen, a big reason for the purchase is pollution concern.

“We know there are air quality issues in the Bulkley Valley, and we want to try to improve on that and be a little bit more efficient on how we burn our clean wood waste. An air curtain burner is basically an engine that supplies high pressure air over a fire, in our case that would be a trench, and that provides a curtain for emissions,” he told the board during an RDBN meeting.

Eriksen also outlined the importance for pre-approving the purchase in the 2022 budget ahead of time, citing the fact that there are only two manufacturers in North America, both of which are experiencing high demand and limited components for the models that the RDBN is interested in.

Staff at RDBN has an opportunity to secure an order with January 2022 delivery, and waiting until the budget approval in March of 2022 would mean there wouldn’t be a guarantee of a machine being available. Essentially, they want to jump at the opportunity while they have the chance.

One board member brought up the fact that there is a province wide emphasis right now of utilizing as much fibre as possible, given the current state of the forestry industry, and wondered why the RDBN is performing burn piles at all.

Eriksen explained that the burn piles consist of primarily brush and a small amount of clean dimensional lumber that’s full of nails. “Our historical discussions with the plants [that discard of wood waste] indicates that they don’t want to take it because they don’t want all that metal in the ash. We don’t take anything over six inches long, so we don’t take any land clearing waste, for example, forestry slash. It’s just the residential brush piles that are collected at our sites,” he said.

The total cost of the air burner is $100,000.

READ MORE: RDBN report on rural housing needs

READ MORE: Waste management update for Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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