It was standing room only at the church hall in New Westminster last night when Paul Connett gave a rousing hour-long speech about waste incineration.
You could have heard a pin drop in the audience during Connett's slide show. He covered the reasons we need to take a "front end" approach to our waste problem rather than wasting money and time on "back end" facilities that destroy resources.
Four of New Westminster's six city councillors took the time to attend the session. It will be interesting to see how many members of the Metro Waste Management Committee are in the Coast Plaza Ballroom tonight.
Zero Waste Vancouver sent two notices of the event to the elected leaders who sit on the Metro Waste Management Committee. Burnaby Councillor Dan Johnston sent regrets due to a prior commitment, saying "I am not sure whether I am pro or con on the issue of Waste to energy."
Johnston is a thoughtful politician who has made good contributions to the Waste Committee's work (we have him to thank that Metro has budgeted funds for composting this year -- he caught the omission last November).
However, it is getting late in the day for elected politicians to demur on this issue. After all, they approved the "Strategy for Updating the Solid Waste Management Plan" as well as the borrowing bylaw that authorizes borrowing of a quarter billion dollars for waste to energy (identified as a "Major Capital Project").
Tonight Zero Waste Vancouver will formally launch a campaign to prevent the Metro incinerators from going ahead. We will be seeking support from citizens in the region when we appear as a delegation to the Waste Management Committee on July 9th to state our position opposing the incineration plants and presenting recommendations for alternatives.