Chemainus – In our recent past, the Municipality of North Cowichan introduced the so-called Kitchen Pitch In green bin program and in the first three months of operation the diversion of kitchen waste to compost vs. landfill was huge in a community of 30,000 people and continues to this day. Now, Christy Clark has contracted out all municipal waste management to an Ontario-based organization and we are already seeing the negative effects of that decision.
We are no longer permitted to put plastic bags and films (most of which are a form of polyethylene, one of the most easily classified and recycled plastics) into the recycle.
We are told we are to collect these materials and take them to a recycling depot much as we are expected to do with commercial glass.
First of all, there is an underlying assumption that everyone has a vehicle that will allow them to do so. Not true.
Second, in the midst of a waste dumping problem the new rules mean people will have more waste they are too lazy to take to a recycling depot, including those who own a vehicle, and dumping will get worse not better.
Third, the CVRD, in response to the ignorant few, have removed all the local collection bins for commercial glass etc. so people now have to travel great distances to deliver this waste.
The key to any recycling effort is the diligent application of the K.I.S.S principal. If it is easy and convenient to use most will use it. Put up barriers and it will fail.
It seems to me that human nature will kick in and these plastics – and perhaps new items we have yet to be told we can no longer add to our recycling bins – will not end up at recycling depots but in the garbage and landfills.
Yes, we have been told that if this is done, garbage will not be picked up but the MNC and CVRD cannot effectively police this so it is a moot threat.
Having moved to the MNC some years ago from a jurisdiction with a cumbersome, user-unfriendly system I was totally blown away by the system we have (had) here in the MNC. It wasn’t broken so why did it need to be “fixed”? We best be looking for new landfills or looking at multi-million investments in clean incineration and co-generation before our landfills are gone.