Recycling program out of date

Time consuming, frustrating to have to sort through multiple options of plastic bags

Editor, The News:

I have lived in Maple Ridge for two years and I have to say that I absolutely love the city, particularly its beauty and incredibly welcoming residents.

However, there are a couple of issues surrounding residential waste disposal that really needs to be improved.

1. Although I appreciate the fact that Maple Ridge has a recycling program, it is out of date with comparison to other municipalities within Metro Vancouver and Canada, which allow for residents to put all recyclable material into one large collection bin.

It is time consuming and frustrating to have to sort through multiple options.

I am sure that much recyclable material is entering the landfill simply because Maple Ridgers are fed up with the onerous system.

Also, if recycling day is windy, there are often waste cans, plastic bags or even collection bags blowing down the street. That problem would be eliminated with a bin and automated collection system.

2. Metro Vancouver will ban all food scraps from its landfills by 2015. Why has council not made its plan of action with respect to this issue, clear to its residents? Why are we not working to get a system in place sooner, rather than later?

Personally, in our household, we already operate one large composter throughout the year, but because we use the compost for our vegetable garden and flower beds, we simply cannot add all of our scraps to the bin. It is really sad to think about the amount of waste that is entering the landfill, which could be put to better use, such as fertilizer.

Vancouver and other municipalities have implemented great systems that work well for everyone and I am disappointed that my own city has not followed suit.

I am not going to go in to grand detail on why collecting organic waste is beneficial as you can visit Vancouver’s web page to read about it (vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/food-scraps-program.aspx).

3. Requiring Maple Ridgers to be responsible for their own disposal of waste is worse for the environment than having a city-run program because it means that several different waste management companies are travelling up and down each block in Maple Ridge (while emitting greenhouse gases and unnecessarily adding to clogged up streets).

A city run system would be more convenient for residents and better for the environment. This would also allow for recycling, waste and food scrap collection to be scheduled and operated on the same day.

I am fully aware that the initiatives I have mentioned will cost our city and its residents in initial capital as well as ongoing fees. However, the food scrap ban is coming in two years, so we are going to bear those costs either way. What is the harm in starting early?

While we are at it, we might as well improve the other waste collection methods. Most residents are paying to have waste collection services (or landfill / transfer station drop off fees) on an individual basis, so I cannot imagine that the overall cost to each resident would be substantial.

Lastly, I know our city and its people and I know that we are passionate about protecting the gorgeous setting that we call home. The environment is important to us and will be important to our children and future generations. We need to lead by example and step up to be as good, if not better, than our neighbouring municipalities

Cheryl Zandbergen

Maple Ridge

Just Posted

Letters: Grizzly bears are not a food source

Whether or not the grizzly hunt is sustainable is not the issue.

Maple Ridge churches asked to help the homeless

Plan underway to offer overnight shelter to street people

Chilliwack boy drops puck at Canucks fight cancer game

Carter Johnston, 11, fighting osteosarcoma and has a growing, prosthetic leg

Former Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA’s family finally recognized

Chinese served though denied the rights of Canadian citizens

Maple Ridge remembers

Remembrance Day ceremony and parade in downtown Maple Ridge.

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Giants trio on ‘watch list’ for NHL draft

Three members of the Vancouver Giants earning some looks from NHL scouts

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

5 to start your day

Delta police probe anti-Christian graffiti, Langley’s Dallas Smith calls out concertgoers and more

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Most Read