It's been 2 1/2 years since Metro Vancouver politicians let the fans down by approving a massive public expenditure on waste incinerator(s).
This was after I and several other citizens dutifully sat through hours of monthly meetings of the regional waste committee, laying out all our arguments why the regional district staff's proposal to build incinerators was a really bad idea.
The politicians listened politely. And ignored us. I stopped going to their meetings. What was the point?
But the agenda for tomorrow's meeting just crossed my desk, all 113 pages of it. Reassuring staff updates on the inexorable process, millions of dollars for each small step, of carrying out the direction they were duly given by what one former Metro staff person once referred to as "the temporary help." (Many of the pols who were around when the incinerator plan was approved were not returned to office in the last election.) Or was it "part time help" ( the politicians on Metro's board and committees were not actually elected to run the region -- their main focus, and rightly so, is managing the staffs in their own municipalities. How many have time to read 113-page regional reports every month?)
Along with the incinerator, a major focus of tomorrow's meeting is howls of righteous indignation from municipal politicians, documented in letters on official letterhead, over the proposal by Multi-Materials BC not to collect glass and plastic bags in the curbside collection system they intend to operate as our new province-wide EPR program for packaging and printed paper.
The Mayors of several regional cities are insisting that glass and plastic bags stay in the curbside collection program. Most likely because nobody on their staff was honest enough to admit that collecting glass and plastic bags in a curbside collection program is a disaster. Shards of glass destroys the paper for recycling -- and the bags get jammed in the machines that are used to sort curbside materials.
Politicians need to get out more, see for themselves how things really work. But then, they wouldn't be able to make it through those 113-page reports...