Tainted soil from former tent city trucked to Highlands facility
Victoria's former tent city, outside of a downtown courthouse, will undergo remediation work before a playground is built on the spot formerly occupied by dozens of homeless people. Jan. 12, 2017. (CTV Vancouver Island)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:46PM PST
About a tonne of dirt contaminated with chemicals and drugs has been trucked away from the former tent city site at Victoria’s courthouse.
What was once a lawn on courthouse land is now a dirt patch, but a remediation crew has been working to restore it before they install a playground at the site.
Soil samples previously taken from the site found contaminants including lead, gasoline, diesel as well as detectable concentrations of methamphetamines and trace amounts of heroin, cocaine, LSD and MDMA.
The government has hired Pinchin, an environmental consulting firm, which has in turn subcontracted Tervita Waste Management to dispose of the soil appropriately.
The tainted soil will be taken to Tervita’s Highwest facility in the District of Highlands, according to a government spokesperson.
The Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, which is responsible for the courthouse site, said in January that cleanup costs would amount to about $350,000.
Nine trees have also been removed from the property to make way for the planned playground.
New trees will be planted to improve sightlines and increase safety at the playground, which will include features for kids of all ages as well as chess tables and seating benches for adults and seniors.
The playground is expected to be finished sometime this spring.