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

Friday, September 18, 2009

Open letter to the Vancouver Sun

Miro Cernetig has broken the story that Metro Vancouver's "garbage crisis" is entirely manufactured.

It is about time the media caught on to this.

The facts are clear: there is plenty of capacity remaining at the Vancouver landfill and the Burnaby incinerator to manage our municipal waste far into the foreseeable future. This fact was confirmed to me months ago by a senior manager at Metro Vancouver. Why do we need to build incinerators?

Now it is time for investigative reporters follow up on this story:
  • Why did Metro Vancouver manufacture a garbage crisis?

  • Why, if we're running out of landfill space, is Metro Vancouver proposing to shut down the Vancouver landfill long before its scheduled closure?

  • Why is Metro Vancouver asking us to spend half-a-billion dollars (and counting) on new garbage facilities when the existing ones could meet our needs?

  • And, as Coquitlam Councillor Fin Donnelly asked at yesterday's Metro Vancouver Waste Management Committee meeting: "What if we took half of the money that it would cost to build a new incinerator, and put it into waste reduction measures instead?"

We don't need a costly "trash panel" to start all over, asking the wrong questions.

We need good investigative reporting that will shed light on the bungling at Metro Vancouver and get our region's waste management planning process back on track.


David said...

Well said. The real question for all of us in the Lower Mainland is - why are we being "sold" one option by our elected officials? When there is a billion plus dollars at stake, the answer/truth may frighten all of us. Thanks for digging in to this.

Anonymous said...

David, my impression is that it is not our elected officials that are driving this, but the staff at Metro Vancouver. I think elected officials are aligned with the public in their desire to see resources put into waste reduction rather than waste destruction. We need to give them support and offer ideas of things we want them to do to support waste reduction. This is work that Zero Waste Vancouver will be doing. Email us if you want to help.

Mike said...

Building new incinerators or expanding on existing ones is not a long term solution. The process produces a higher carbon footprint due to the amount of electricity used as compared to reducing the waste that accumulates in our landfills by encouraging use of home composatable products.
One such product is Saakori's biodegradable and home compostable disposable dinerware (
What needs to be done is that consumers should be made more aware of the issues and help them make choose long term sustainable alternates that help resolve these issues.