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

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Speak out ~ landfill gas regulation not good enough

Here's a good place to start our campaign to stop methane pollution: tell the province that end-of-pipe solutions are not good enough.

The provincial government is seeking input on a proposed Landfill Gas regulation that would require local governments to install gas capture systems. Problem is: these systems miss most of the gas produced by rotting garbage. More than half the gas slips by the pipes and up to the atmosphere.

A much better approach, chosen by the provincial government of Nova Scotia, is the preventative approach. They simply banned organic wastes from being disposed in landfills. They did this back in 1999. Within months the province's waste had been cut by nearly half (to say nothing of the decline in methane).

In Nova Scotia everyone puts their food waste in Green Bins. Even Tim Horton's provides a special container for half-eaten donuts and coffee cups.

Why stop with half-way measures? Tell our province to follow Nova Scotia's example and use a carrot-and-stick approach to help local communities prevent the methane problem.

Go here for the feedback form (due by September 30). Go here for background info.


Anonymous said...

We are appreciative that the provincial government is thinking about trying to resolve the problem of landfill gas escaping from BC landfills, but we would prefer the more preventative measure of banning organics in landfills.

Landfilling is a vastly out of date way to handle municipal solid waste. We live near the Cache Creek landfill that has accepted vancouver waste since 1989. *None* of the landfill gas has *ever* been benefically used here and we do worry about the *health effects* to our community. If the Cache Creek landfill closes as planned by 2010, we realize toxic methane will still emit from it for many years to come.

We are strongly hoping the province is not planning on building any new landfills. Attempting to capture and constructively utilise existing landfill gases is obviously a good idea but this proposed legislation seems late in coming. How many other existing landfills are there in the province that don't already have the basic leachate and gas trapping systems in place?

A much more environmentally sound way to deal with landfill gas is to try to prevent it in the first place by composting organics. Vancouver garbage is ~30% compostable. If Vancouver is serious about their zero waste challange they will implement composting facilities as soon as possible. Nova Scotia has set an excellent example on waste reduction by collecting organics. BC needs to legislate state of the art solutions to landfill gas but not focus so much on half way measures that will not solve the root of the problem which is the continuing practise of burying large quanties of compostables.


Cornwall Watershed Coalition Society


Anonymous said...

the government thinks that they are helpling but they really are not helping. thay need to try to think of another wa yto get rid of some of the landfills beacause it is a health hazourd to our earth.