‘No jobs, shopping, too much litter’

Candidate wants mature city, with garbage collection

It’s time Maple Ridge entered the 21st century, put the past behind it and moved towards municipal garbage collection, says a council candidate.

“I just see what’s happening in Pitt Meadows and it’s great example of what I’d like to see happening,” said lifelong Maple Ridge resident Grant Sanderson, who’s taking a first attempt at getting elected to council on Nov. 15.

“What I see now is terrible. People are throwing their garbage in ditches, throwing it in McDonald’s parking lots. It’s crazy.”

Green waste and compost is picked up weekly and garbage collected every two weeks in Pitt Meadows and Sanderson said it would be worth the $300 extra yearly in taxes to have that in Maple Ridge.

He understands that some see no need for that, but says Maple Ridge is growing up.

“The community is now 80,000 large and it needs to step forward in the province.”

Maple Ridge is now of the few that doesn’t have a single, municipal-wide garbage collection. Instead, residents contract with private haulers for garbage pickup.

Sanderson used to work at Pelton Reforestation tree nursery in northwest Maple Ridge until it closed several years ago.

Since then it’s been tough for him to find work locally.

“I’m just totally discouraged with the lack of job opportunities in Maple Ridge.”

The only major employers are the school district, the municipality and Ridge Meadows Hospital.

“There’s no industry whatsoever. There’s no shopping at all. I have to leave, drive, clog the roads even more.”

Sanderson now works for a landscaping company in Langley and pays $120 a month in tolls for the Golden Ears Bridge to get to work.

“There needs to be more quality employment and there needs to be more quality retail in Maple Ridge,” so people stay in the community, he added.