Good of the CVRD bins outweighs the bad

Crofton – It is really a shame that the CVRD has chosen to remove the remaining recycling bins rather than find a way to make them work better.

For instance, similar facilities in other jurisdictions have video camera surveillance installed. I suspect the district has the parts needed for a pilot project on the shelf. It wouldn’t take more than a couple of publicized arrests for illegal dumping to get THAT message across loud and clear.

I use the Chemainus bins regularly and I have been a keen observer of the state of things there for several years now.

I take exception with the complaints made by Jason Adair in the article on May 2. I never saw the dumpers, but did, from time to time, see their mess. One of the messiest slides in the set that came with the article was date stamped New Year’s Eve – a terrible time of year for waste because there is no pickup and it is our annual consumer holiday.

Out of sight is not better in this case. Better to have the oil and whatnot where it is easy to clean up. We really need to do a better job of educating folks about the costs of dumping.

The tagging and Halloween arsons are endemic. They happen everywhere and anywhere, and in rubbish bins far more often than recycling bins, simply because there are many more of them.

I have never seen loitering, ever. I have seen many people come by and look for items – and leave.

I have never been approached by anyone.

I, on the other hand, am a curious and friendly fellow and have said hello now and then.

I have seen obviously poor people – some that looked like they might live on the street but most not – who show up with extended reach grippers and look for returnable containers.

Mostly that group is comprised of elderly folks who drive up.

I met one older couple that were retrieving large jars. It turns out that they sterilize them and can stuff from their gardens for the needy.

I watched a father-daughter team enthusiastically go through a bin, pulling out tubes and cardboard. I assume it was for a costume, art, or maybe a science fair project.

While none of these activities at the bins are officially recognized, the bins serve the community by giving a break to folks who don’t get many, by providing resources (and thereby reuse) for diverse projects, and they do the primary task of providing a nearby place to take our glass and other recycling.

Unfortunately none of those statements apply to the three CVRD recycling centres.

Gary Starkweather

Crofton