Solid Waste & Recycling


Vancouver strongly against incineration proposal

Wants Vancouver to suspend work towards a $500-million taxpayer-funded waste incinerator in order to explore alternative options and technologies

Some 91 per cent of polled Metro Vancouver residents believe that the Regional District should support a proposal to build a mixed-waste Material Recovery Facility to recover significant amounts of recyclables and organics from the waste stream instead of it being burned or landfilled.

NextUse Recycling Ltd. published the results of the Abacus Data study of public opinion about waste management options in Metro Vancouver. The findings of the survey from the Belkorp group company shows that roughly three out of four voters in the region want Metro Vancouver Regional District to suspend work towards a $500-million taxpayer-funded waste incinerator in order to explore alternative options and technologies.

“For years, people have been uncomfortable with the amount of garbage that is produced and ends up being buried or burned,” says Abacus Data Chairman Bruce Anderson. “When presented with a tax-neutral way to reduce that aspect of their environmental footprint, it is not surprising at all that people want to see their governments explore and embrace such solutions. For residents of the Metro Vancouver area, material recovery is a solution that also feels like it is more consistent with the values of the community, and it’s clear they expect their public officials to give serious consideration to this idea. For the average voter, the fact that it hasn’t been done before in this region is an argument for trying it now, not ruling it out.”

RELATED: Read SWR editor Guy Crittenden’s take on Vancouver incineration

Respondents were informed of Metro Vancouver Regional District estimates that even after efforts by households and businesses to separate out recyclables, almost half of what the region sends to disposal (incineration or landfilling) is actually recyclable.

Given this context, the large majority show enthusiasm for the idea of taking the waste to a privately-owned and operated facility where additional effort to recover recyclables would be made, after residents and businesses have done their best to recycle. This is considerably more popular than either trucking unsorted waste to an incinerator and burying the ash in landfill, or trucking it to landfills and burying it.

“The results of this survey demonstrate there is significant enthusiasm in Metro Vancouver for initiatives that would increase recycling and divert waste volumes away from disposal,” says NextUse VP of Corporate Development, Russ Black. “The material recovery facility that we are proposing to build and operate with our own capital offers a proven way to increase recycling levels and deliver a host of other economic and environmental benefits – with no tax increases.

Detailed survey results and highlights can be accessed here.

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