If this were your backyard, would you want half-a-million tonnes of someone else's garbage dumped there? Metro Vancouver staff and contractors seem determined to build a 100-year landfill in these beautiful hills. It's time they checked in with us, the citizens of this region.
The Cornwall Keepers are asking for our help.
In 2000, GVRD puchased Ashcroft Ranch (price $4.5 million) and announced a plan to build a landfill there for our garbage. No-one asked us if we wanted to send our garbage to someone else's backyard.
From 2000 to 2005, GVRD carried out expensive procedures seeking provincial approval for the landfill. No-one asked us if we supported the project.
In June 2005, the Minister of Environment suspended the approval process saying "an amendment to the GVRD's solid waste management plan is required for the project to proceed." No-one has asked us if we wanted to amend our waste plan.
Last month Metro Vancouver staff set aside $6 million in the 2008 budget to continue preparations for building the landfill at Ashcroft, despite the suspension. This is on top of hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain agricultural operations on the ranch. No-one asked us if we want to put good money after bad into this project.
As 2007 draws to a close, there are signs of change at Metro Vancouver. The political leaders in our region are beginning to have second thoughts about shipping our garbage out of the region. They forced their staff to find $40 million for the 2008 budget for composting (incredibly, staff had not allocated a nickel for this priority.) They have approved tough new disposal bans that will come into effect on January 1st. They are betting we are ready to get serious about reducing waste.
Zero Waste Vancouver was formed to give the citizens of this region a voice, finally, in how our waste is managed. For too long, Metro Vancouver has made it easy to be wasteful, sending our garbage up the Fraser Canyon to someone else's backyard. We are the most wasteful urban region in the province. It's time to acknowledge this and do something about it. The people who live in our "wasteshed" deserve no less.
You can lend them your support right now by visiting the Cornwall Keepers website and signing their petition.