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What are we going to do with our garbage? Metro Vancouver struggles to find the way

August 3rd, 2010 · 7 Comments

It doesn’t take much research to discover that hundreds of cities are wrassling with the problem of what to do about their garbage in the future. More landfills in more remote communities doesn’t seem to be the optimal way.

So lots of places are trying to figure out what they can do instead. Can they learn to recycle enough so that existing facilities can handle the little bit that’s left over? If that doesn’t work, are modern-day incinerators that use new technology to reduce pollution and toxic chemical formation the answer? Is there anything else?

Green types prefer the recycling/alternative options. But they’re not the only ones. Incinerators are tough political sells, even though all kinds of science says they’re light-years safer than they used to be.

Metro Vancouver’s directors clearly had a hard time answering those questions Friday and essentially opted for: let’s explore both incineration and alternatives in more detail.

Some saw it as a pro-incineration vote. But Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart (a former Liberal MLA and not someone prone to extremes) saw it as more of an anti-incineration vote, since his motion (the one eventually passed) called for staff to ask for bids on alternatives and also called for an independent reviewer to assess them. More verbiage on this in my story here.

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