Saturday, May 1, 2010

What to do with our waste ?

This morning Metro Vancouver hosted a council-of-councils meeting, for all councillors and mayors of the Metro Region, in Langley. The topic of discussion: Draft Solid Waste Management Plan.

The solid waste issue is getting plenty of media attention these days, and Metro Vancouver waste management committee, staff and board are updating the solid waste management plan, setting the direction for the next 30-50 years in the region.

The draft plan has some good ideas, but there is no question the emphasis in the plan is Waste to Energy/Incineration. (MV is insisting that waste to energy is not just incineration, but all of their graphs, financials and other figures are based on incineration as the WTE technology).

Sadly, while 'lip service' is given to waste reduction and increased (pre WTE) recovery, the ideas in the plan in those regards are vague and for the most part , undefined. Unlike the plans for WTE which include estimated costs for incinerator construction, air emissions 'guesstimates', figures for electrical and heat generation and long term financing models. No other part of the plan, it is clear, has received the same level of detailed consideration, and there are many vague statements like 'work with senior government' on packaging and waste reduction.

I'll follow up on this post after tuesday's meeting in Port Moody where Metro Vancouver is bringing the 'travelling roadshow' (no disprespect intended) to city hall. Greg Moore, chair of the waste management committee, Joe Trasolini, chair of energy and environment committee, and MV Board chair Lois Jackson are taking the MV show on the road, moving throughout the region for public meetings over the next couple of months. Kudos for the board chair in particular for attending these sessions, and for the elected officials for being there - quite often, much to the dismay of attendees, elected officials send staff out to these meetings .. nice to see the decision makers there hearing the feedback first hand.

Stay tuned, more to follow later next week..