News Views: Curbing it

Without a municipal system, there is little oversight in dealing with waste disposal

The City of Maple Ridge is looking at putting garbage collection on its plate.

While creating unionized staff positions and purchasing a fleet of vehicles to do so seems expensive and unappetizing, contracting out services to a private provider would be palatable.

As it stands, four companies conduct such services for residential and commercial clients on private contracts.

Households and businesses without agreements have the option of taking waste to the regional transfer station in Albion for $15.

It’s not known where the waste of those without private collection contracts goes.

Evidence of illegal dumping exists, but, according to the city, the problem is no worse now than several years ago, and is no more so than in any other Metro city.

Some residents may beg to differ.

Regardless, without a municipal system, there is little oversight in dealing with waste disposal.

The current system in Maple Ridge is largely reliant on trust, a hope that individuals will be responsible.

But we know how trust works with our region’s transit fare collection method.

If the goal is to ensure a reduction in recyclable materials entering the waste stream, for the betterment of the environment and for all, them some level of oversight is required.

Cost seems to be the overarching argument of having the municipality implement some sort of coordinated waste collection system, along with convenience. Why else would someone dump an old washing machine or TV stand, along with a month’s worth of food scraps beside a creek in a remote treed area?

Maybe such a person doesn’t care about the planet, any less than one who throws bread bags and chicken bones in the garbage can along with opened envelopes used paper towels to be dumped in a landfill.

It’s still happening. So maybe some baby-sitting is required, with a new bin system to make it easier on those who think recycling takes too much effort.

And if the city can achieve a contract that is affordable and covers the entire city – even if the monthly cost is a little bit more than what’s available now, to subsidize those who aren’t currently taking part –we’re all better off for it.

– The News