It’s no secret that construction companies in the Lower Mainland are facing a major challenge in finding facilities that will accept a wide range of soils. Opened only last year, service provider Della Terra Soil Management Solutions is a locally owned and operated facility in Chilliwack that accepts a wide range of soils from clean fill to non-hazardous end-of-life soils.
Owner and president Phil Frustagli has been in the soil management business for 30 years. He incorporated Della Terra a little more than two years ago to take advantage of a rare opportunity in the region.
“The need for construction companies to find long-term disposal solutions for non-hazardous soils is growing,” he says. “Facilities featuring large parcels of land such as this one simply don’t exist and those closer to the Lower Mainland aren’t accepting all types of soils. None of them accept end-of-life soils as we do.”
Frustagli was first contacted by members of Skway First Nation several years ago to consider the possibility of operating a soil disposal and remediation site on a property that had been heavily excavated as a gravel and aggregate supply facility. Frustagli says he liked the location, a little more than an hour’s drive east of Vancouver. He was also impressed by the fact that the drive to the site incorporated primarily paved roads.
“The band said they needed soil to fill the excavations on the property so that they could reclaim the land and they were also hoping to generate jobs and revenue,” says Frustagli. “As a Land Code band, Skway First Nation had already conducted its own in-house environmental assessment and approval for the site, incorporating industry best practices. We signed an agreement for a 10-year operating lease outlining our business plan, revenue sharing and intention to employ local band members.”
Della Terra’s facility features one biocell for soil remediation used to treat contaminated soils, which can be reused in select applications following in situ treatment. The other cell is a fully engineered landfill cell designed to securely contain any end-of-life soils. It incorporates a closed loop leachate collection system with a polishing wetland. Once leachate is treated to local bylaw standards, it’s pumped to the local sanitary sewer.
The Della Terra facility opened in spring 2018 and the company quickly established a soil transfer station on Mitchell Island, south of Vancouver, not far from Richmond. The site has provided an ideal service for local contractors who operate smaller trucks that can’t economically make a long drive, or have only smaller loads of soil to dispose of.
Della Terra is planning to boost its value proposition to contractors in the near future by offering to supply a wide variety of soils and aggregates so that trucks visiting its facility won’t have to leave empty.
“We’ll soon be providing our aggregate supply service to our Mitchell Island transfer facility,” says Frustagli. “That should be good news for landscaping contractors in the vicinity.”
Della Terra is also establishing a trucking service to pick up any loads of soil identified by contractors at project sites and delivering them to the Chilliwack facility.
Frustagli notes that Della Terra is already delivering on its agreement with Skway First Nation.
“We’re currently employing five to six band members,” he says. “We’re hoping to double that number over the next year.”
This content is sponsored by Della Terra Soil Management Solutions in collaboration with ConstructConnect® Media. To learn more about Della Terra, visit www.dellaterrasolutions.com.