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LETTER: Recycling goes unchecked
The discussion and media attention is all about MMBC and its new recycling legislation. This new program will shift responsibility from taxpayer to producer.
MMBC will not stop anyone from dumping banned products into landfills.
This has to be the role of the RDCK. Why is there never a discussion of why the garbage is full of recycling, organics, and prohibited waste? Businesses and people not recycling or disposing of prohibited waste are filling our landfills with banned products.
Ootischenia landfill will be full in 36 years thanks to our disposable society. RDCK does not enforce their resource recovery regulations that are designed to force recycling and keep prohibited waste out of landfill.
Metro Vancouver has recently penalized 17 waste haulers about $350,000 for delivering trash containing banned items, ranging form corrugated cardboard to electronics. A television within a load generates a flat surcharge of $50.
Penalties are meant to serve as a deterrent to haulers dumping items for which there are recycling programs. If the RDCK looked at the garbage they would find a mixture of recyclables, organics, and prohibited waste.
If one recycles, composts, and returns prohibited waste to product stewardship locations there is very little garbage.
Garbage disposal is too cheap and recycling is not mandatory. At $2.50 per massive black garbage bag why not just throw it all out together as their contents are not inspected. Recycling trucks drive around picking it up, mix it all together and then sort it after being driven large distances. Would it not make sense to sort our garbage? How much of our recycling ends up in the landfill because of contamination or it was mixed in with our garbage?
Household and commercial garbage I inspect is full of recyclables and prohibited waste. Garbage is a subject no one wishes to discuss or investigate. The problem is lack of monitoring and inspections. I estimate that 80 per cent of garbage is recyclable material, organics, and prohibited waste. A trip to the Ootischenia landfill is recommended for all those interested and concerned.
RDCK has set forth Resource Recovery Bylaws which can be found on its website. It lists banned products from the landfill, which include prohibited waste and recyclable materials. Televisions, which contain lead and other hazardous chemicals, are not banned from the landfill. It also states that a garbage load, which contains more than 20 per cent recyclable material, shall be double the tipping fee. If businesses and public were double charged accordingly they might consider recycling. This increased revenue could go to more inspections and monitoring of our waste. It would also prolong landfill life by diverting recyclable material and banned products.
Why are bylaw officers not inspecting garbage and enforcing RDCK resource recovery regulations? RDCK promotes itself with names like environmental services and resource recovery. You would think anyone working in Solid Waste Management would look at what’s in the garbage for solutions.
Karl Den Boer