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

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cities defecting from Metro's incinerator plan

Two data points don't make a trend yet, but Metro staff are probably not going to be pleased that a second city appears to be defecting from the region's incinerator plan.

Coquitlam Council's Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Environment received a report on Monday that is sharply critical of assumptions in Metro's proposed waste management plan and recommends asking the Metro Board to develop a better case for building incinerators.

The report presents a number of "issues that are yet to be resolved," mainly relating to Metro's projections of the actual cost of incineration compared to other options. The report calls for Metro to either put out a request for proposals with detailed cost estimates or have an independent review of Metro staff's assumptions.

Cost and risk are important issues for the region's municipalities.

"Local ratepayers will have to carry the full cost of capital and operations [of new disposal facilities] as it is highly unlikely that other levels of government will participate in capital cost-sharing, unlike in other Metro Vancouver services where senior governments often assist with capital costs."

(Metro's draft plan proposes senior government financial support.)

The report also covers a number of measures that Coquitlam is undertaking right now to reduce waste, including a going city-wide with a comprehensive composting program. A successful pilot this year found that the city-wide program could cut disposal costs by $70K per year.

Pic: Lou Sekora, long-time Coquitlam politician who leads the city's Regional Solid Waste Solutions Standing Committee appointed by the Mayor.

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