Save with responsible attitudes

Letter writers express views on recycling and garbage pick-up in Maple Ridge.

Editor, The News:

Re: Time for a change when it comes to garbage (Letters, July 18).

I see there is still a lot of education to be done on the way we do things in Maple Ridge regarding garbage.

As an advocate for recycling for more than 40 years, I have been involved with many studies on the subject, and certainly agree with most council members that garbage is a problem each individual creates, and should look after.

Maple Ridge has the most comprehensive recycling system in B.C., and our council supports this ‘carrot’ to encourage responsible waste disposal.

Recently, bans on dumping various materials have started providing the ‘stick’ to pressure the same results.

There is no ‘away’ to get rid of waste. It will always be somewhere.

Landfills are costly to initiate, run, and close.

Incinerators only take a solid waste and reduce it, releasing the gasses into the atmosphere, and creating a hazardous bottom ash, which has to be landfilled with special controls.

Recycling closes the loop, so the material is put back into the system in a sustainable manner.

Recycling is working.

Metro estimates that Maple Ridge recycles 52 per cent of its waste.

Metro recently revised its estimate of how many incinerators would be needed as there’s not as much waste to feed them.

The estimate of food as a percentage of the waste stream is now around 30 per cent. It used to be 10 to 15 percent in 1980.

But other portions of the waste stream have been reduced by recycling, taking up a  larger share.

Food waste has been proposed as the next item on the Metro agenda for collection and recycling by 2015.

In the meantime, many of us are composting, and will be continuing to do so.

For those not able to install a backyard composter,  there are worm composters, and for items difficult to compost.

The Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot has digesters to handle bones, meat, animal feces.

Those of us who have next to no garbage due to our responsible attitudes have no wish to have an increase in our taxes to subsidize those who care not.

If you are concerned about all the different garbage trucks on your street, talk to your neighbours about using a common collector, you may even get a discount.

David Koehn

Maple Ridge

 

Have a referendum

Re: Time for a change when it comes to garbage (Letters, July 18).

I can’t understand what agenda council has.

Every time I strike up a conversation with neighbours or parents through sports, the topic gets to garbage pickup and recycling. People have no problem expressing their views, and from what I hear, I don’t believe council, except for a few who are aligned with what residents want.

When it comes to garbage, the way it is done now is not effective and is not an environmentally friendly method as up to four different companies a week stop at various houses on my street. Wouldn’t having one company be more effective?

Council at the very least should offer the citizens a referendum to put the issue to rest.

If they truly have the pulse of taxpayers, they wouldn’t be afraid to put it out for us, the taxpayer to decide.

And why not explore other ways to provide recycling services. The recycling society is so ingrained in city hall, I wonder if this clouds the view council has.

Maybe other companies could provide better value to taxpayers.

Maybe we should be able to opt out of the recycling services, and get reimbursed the tax portion. If the recycling services had competition, we could choose.

I am sure most residents would pick the system that is the easiest on them, not some system of six bags we have to spend many hours separating.

John Fuller

Maple Ridge

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