White Rock residents attend a city-hosted forum on waste management ‘to provide input on various options’.

White Rock residents attend a city-hosted forum on waste management ‘to provide input on various options’.

LETTERS: Waste options in short supply

An open letter to White Rock council, following the June 30 community forum on plans for single-family garbage and recycling services.

An open letter to White Rock council.

Eager to hear from the mayor and council members about plans for single-family garbage and recycling services, and hear questions from citizens of White Rock, I attended the community forum on June 30 (Residents brace for impending change, July 3).

The invitation reads: “Experience firsthand the city’s current practices and provide input on various options.” I expected the mayor and all members of council to be at the forum, state their position and entertain questions.

I arrived at the community centre only to find that the “forum” consisted of tables staffed by city workers who were there to ‘show and tell’, not to address the potential privatization of garbage and recycling services nor to discuss or receive input “on various options”.

For example, one table was set up to show how to use the small, green plastic containers sent to single-family households. We and many others have been putting food scraps into compost for such a long time and have created containers and systems to deal with them, so this small container seemed redundant to me. The demonstrator did not know the cost of sending them to 4,000 households.

Some council members made an appearance. I asked Coun. Bill Lawrence about the privatization of single-family garbage, and he assured me “it was a done deal.”

I asked the mayor, and he said no decision will be made until the response to tenders come in. I suggested that putting out tenders indicated a strong desire to privatize. He allowed how going private was a question of cost. I said “cost” is a slippery word and that the introduction of private collection means companies, which have to make a profit, will pay employees less and/or the cost to the public will increase dramatically.

He responded by bashing the union, saying, “They wash their cars during down time.” I took this to be an off-the-cuff pandering to people who like to think that city employees are pampered and lazy.

Sadly, White Rock is going backward. Hypocrisy reared its head at the recent sub-committee meeting, where assurances were made that single-family garbage and recycling would not be privatized. We now know that prior in-camera meetings had already set the stage to go ahead with single-family privatization.

Also, I suggested to the mayor that having more companies using more trucks would surely mean more pollution and much more noise. He didn’t disagree, but said: “It wouldn’t amount to much.” We are currently paying an increasing environmental price for this it-wouldn’t-amount-to-much sensibility.

The reactionary moves by council fly in the face of responsible, citizen-responsive, public needs. New Westminster recently returned to city collection of waste after having tried privatization and finding it a failure.

The way to address the more environmentally conscious tipping fees and other requirements of Metro Vancouver is to show progressive leadership, not dump the garbage on the backs of the citizens of White Rock.

John Reed, White Rock

Editor’s note: White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, who was cc’d on the above submission, responded, denying he had bashed the union, saying he was referring to crews washing “work vehicles” when they finish early. Coun. Bill Lawrence said his “it was a done deal” comment “referred to the fact that there is a necessity to fundamentally change the way garbage was to be sorted and processed due to… the new regulations on separating out the organics.”

 

 

Just Posted

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

Surrey Libraries will host a series of free contests and programs for teenagers this summer. (Malin Jordan photo)
Surrey Libraries offering series of free summer programs for teens

Writing contests, virtual programs scheduled throughout summer

Emergency crews responded to a large truck fire under the Alex Fraser Bridge around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Christine Tobias/Twitter photo)
Dog dies in truck fire under Alex Fraser Bridge

No people were injured in blaze that consumed two semi-trucks around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

Most Read