For many residents in
Ottawa, the Green Bin Program has become a symbol of bad decisions made
at City Hall. Why is this program a bad idea?
landfill diversion. Dumps are expensive, smelly, toxic, and an eyesore.
No one wants one in their back yard. The Green Bin Program is supposed
to extend our need for another landfill site, at a cost of $150 million,
for an additional 5 years. In other words, if the Trail Waste Facility
is expected to last for another 20 years, it will last 25 years, if we
all use the green bin.
The problem is that
this is a very expensive program ($15 million per year) to extend the
life of the landfill for another 5 years. This program gives us a large
(145,102 sq. ft.) industrial building on Hawthorne Road in Gloucester to
process our kitchen waste. The program accepts ashes, bones, cat litter
and other pet waste. Would you want to put this type of compost on your
To coincide with the
Copenhagen conference on climate change (read global warming), the City
is putting more trucks on the road to carry our kitchen waste to the
central processing plant.
There are other
options, for example, extended household composting and energy from
waste programs. Across the street from City Hall, Ottawa University has
put in place its own, on-site composting facility. This type of solution
(local composting) is scalable for households, institutions and
businesses. Was it considered for Ottawa?
Where is the
Integrated Waste Management Master Plan? Are we moving towards energy
from waste? “Britain is building 50 new waste to energy incinerators;
Denmark’s environmental protection agency recommended … reroute(ing)
parts of its recycling program to incinerators, … It’s done in Japan, in
Europe, in Russia … we’re actually way behind on waste to energy in
North America.” (from National Post, The recycling conundrum: How
your blue bin hurts the environment. Friday, December 4, 2009
We are concerned
about paying for a service we don’t get (rurals, businesses and
highrises), having diapers added to the program, trucking organics for
miles and miles when it’s not necessary, removal of incentives for
people to compost, subsidizing one private company over another. Many
Ottawa residents believe that the city acted most improperly by
committing taxpayers to a blind 20-year contract with the same company
that is still unsuccessful at producing saleable compost, in Toronto,
after two years of operation.
We want better
value for our tax dollar, more local decision making, and better
consultation on expensive programs.