Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Globe columnist slams Ontario incinerator decision

The Globe's John Barber wrote a scathing Op-Ed today about convoluted logic that convinced politicians in the Durham region of Ontario that it was a "prudent" investment to saddle ratepayers with a waste solution (incinerator) that will cost $250/tonne ~ compared, for instance, with the solution chosen by Toronto (landfill) that will cost $70/tonne.
He comments: "Yesterday, a key Durham committee voted to accept the business case supporting the incinerator as the most "prudent" way to dispose of its waste for the next two generations. If regional council follows suit, its far-sighted members will prudently condemn their grandchildren to paying three times as much to dispose of their garbage as their neighbours do - using a technology that was unforgivably primitive even in 2008."

He reminds readers that there are alternatives ~ a "flood of new policies and technologies that promise virtually to eliminate the need for conventional disposal."
He might have been thinking of Extended Producer Responsibility (where BC is a leader). This policy promises to eliminate 75% of municipal waste by giving the problem back to producers.
He might have been thinking of the composting of biodegradable wastes, where Ontario is a leader. Together these policies add up to Zero Waste, or darned close. Never have we had such an opportunity to do away with waste as we know it.
But not for poor Durham, alas.
Barber writes: "Not only will the grandchildren be stuck paying for a hideous, polluting relic on the shores of their lake, they will pay through the absence of the public transit that everybody else will have built by then"

Let's not let it happen here. Metro Vancouver has already approved the authority to borrow a quarter of a billion dollars to build an incinerator here. They can't sign the deal until a new waste management plan is approved. Zero Waste Vancouver has prepared a position paper on the proposed plan. If your organization would like to read the paper and consider signing on, contact us by email: We'd be happy to send a speaker to provide background on the issue.

Transit... or Gateway for Garbage. Our choice or theirs?

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