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

Monday, May 4, 2009

Call for a Zero Waste Economy

Metro Vancouver has just wrapped up another round of sparsely attended public meetings about its so-called "Zero Waste Challenge." In this round, citizens were asked to pick a target for cutting our waste by 2015. The starting line, we were told, is 50%, which is how much we currently reduce our waste through existing recycling and composting programs. What were the targets proposed by Metro?

Continued Improvement would get us up to 60%.

Aggressive Change would be really hard and costly, but it could get us to 70%.

The third choice, A Zero Waste Economy, they warned us, would need not only all the cost and pain of Aggressive Change but also the unlikely scenario of provincial, federal and international leaders embracing fundamental changes in the way waste is managed.

Since the finish line of this race was set by Metro at 2015, the third choice seemed patently unrealistic. Nevertheless many in the room the night I attended were not deterred. In the straw vote held at the end of the evening, most participants chose targets higher than 70%.

Do you want a Zero Waste Economy? Go to the Zero Waste Challenge Feedback Form and tell Metro your views. Then send an email directly to the members of the Metro Waste Management Committee (see contact info in the right margin).

Next month, Metro will host a new round of consultations seeking our support for construction of huge new garbage incinerators. If we tell them we want a Zero Waste Economy, they won't need to build any incinerators.

Pic: this is the image Metro adapted for their PPT slide show.

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