Investment needed for better-smelling future

It is in the public interest for our governments to make some investment into researching and developing better ways to get rid of our waste. Take the controversy around Fisher Road Recycling.

It is a wonderful thing that municipalities are now collecting compostables.

This type of waste can actually be turned into a product that can go back into our environment in a positive way to help us grow crops and other plants by enriching our soil.

Sending all of this stuff to the landfill for so many years was a terrible waste, any way you look at it.

But while backyard composting, done properly, doesn’t create a foul odour that has the neighbours gagging and looking at you like they hope you move away immediately, collecting and composting on a municipal scale does.

Composting facilities are not trying to be bad neighbours.

Most of them have put in a significant investment to try to keep foul smells to a minimum, but unfortunately, the technology just doesn’t seem to be there yet to make these facilities something folks are happy to see move in next door.

That’s why the Fisher Road facility is taking in compost from Saanich; that area has not been able to find a site for their own compost facility. The latest attempt created a huge, well, stink.

And who can blame them? You sure know when you drive into the vicinity of the composting facility at Duke Point.

And even in an industrial area of that ilk there are still neighbours, whether businesses or rural residences, that are affected.

There will never be a place isolated enough, yet still accessible enough, to be perfect.

Yet, there is no question that composting this type of waste for re-use is a laudable endeavour that absolutely should continue.

We must divert everything possible from our vast waste stream that has already caused so much damage to our environments both on land and at sea.

And really, nobody is any more in favour of a stinky landfill in their neighbourhood than a composting facility, so going backwards is not an option.

Our practice in the Cowichan

Valley of shipping our waste off Vancouver Island is also not a sustainable solution, either financially or morally.

Which is why we argue that some real money should be put into researching new techniques and technologies that could significantly reduce or eliminate the stench of large composting operations.

It would be an investment in our collective future.

Imagine the advantages. We believe the ingenuity is there. We just need to provide adequate incentive to get to a better-smelling tomorrow.