More than 100 residents gathered at White Rock City Hall Monday afternoon to protest garbage-collection plans.

More than 100 residents gathered at White Rock City Hall Monday afternoon to protest garbage-collection plans.

LETTERS: Residents feel kicked to the curb

Editor:

Re: Condo owners trash city’s decision, March 24.

Editor:

I am writing to ask our illustrious mayor – through you – if we residents of White Rock who reside in condominium apartments are not residents of this city?

How is it that a taxpayer residing in a single-family residence has more rights than we taxpayers living in condos? If our garbage collection is unilaterally withdrawn by Mayor Wayne Baldwin and his council, it means the taxes we pay will, in part, be paying for the garbage collection of a select group of our society. This is out-and-out discrimination and the kind of thinking that would bring this about, including the in-camera decision making process, is worthy of nothing but contempt.

Gus Nielsen, White Rock

• • •

City representatives are touting “reduction” as the primary objective, along with “fairness” as the justification for scrapping existing garbage-collection arrangements.

Why, then, does the proposed new scheme do exactly the opposite, and provide no incentive to reduce?

Why will it cost every single-family household exactly the same, irrespective of whether they leave zero, one or two cans at the curb for collection? Why will those that have chosen to live in a smaller house – with a smaller assessment – be forced to subsidize those in larger homes? All other city services are based on assessment.

A household with zero waste for a given week will pay the same as a household with two cans. How is that fair?

It is clear that the scheme being proposed is neither fair nor usage-based, and no better than the existing scheme in these respects. But, guess what, it is going to cost more.

Councillors have been remarkably silent over this issue, simply passing the buck to city staff to stifle concerns. So much for open access to councillors.

A large number of municipalities across Canada have managed to implement a ‘pay-as-you-throw’ scheme. If the goal is truly to move to a zero-waste environment, then with the correct community education and buy-in, a proper usage-based scheme should be implemented.

Keith Knightson, White Rock

• • •

On Dec. 15, the City of White Rock decided it would get out of the waste-management business and abandon 11,000 of its citizens who live in multi-family buildings to their own resources. The city purports to call this privatization. I call it abandonment of its fiduciary obligation to support its citizens in a common need – just like policing, fire protection and land management.

This sudden action has taken place behind closed doors, without public input and proper financial analysis.

As single-family homeowners will soon see by the appearance of a new $192 “utility waste fee” to cover the last six months of 2015, by removing these services from the multi-family buildings, the city is actually imposing a further hardship on its single-family residents by losing the financial benefits of economy of scale. The larger units help amortize the costs of the small ones – simple.

K. Wayne Livingstone, White Rock

Better off with private collection

Re: Condo owners trash city’s decision, March 24.

The group of condo residents who gathered at city hall on Monday would like you to believe they speak for condo owners throughout the city, but I wonder how many of White Rock’s 250 strata complexes were actually represented. My guess is it was less than 10 per cent.

While MC Bill Vigars was doing his best to spin a White Rock council decision as an act of deceit, no one was willing to acknowledge the bigger picture. The fact is that some strata complexes must hire a private service provider to remove their garbage, while their unit owners pay for that same service through their property taxes.

Here at Avra we do in fact have a private contractor provide our garbage-removal service, an arrangement we were particularly happy with last year when White Rock’s civic workers were on strike.

My feeling is if these people spent half the time sourcing a new garbage-collection service as they spend railing against change, they would have this issue behind them in no time, and we’d all be better for it.

Glen Gerow, White Rock

 

 

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