Province will review Vancouver's solid waste management after public concern of Bylaw proposal

Photo by Stefano via Flickr
Photo by Stefano via Flickr

The Province will review Metro Vancouver's solid waste management plan to determine the most-effective way to achieve waste diversion in the region, according to a Ministry of Environment press release.

The statement released today says MLA for Surrey-Panorama Marvin Hunt will conduct a three-month review focusing on family and industrial-commercial-institutional (ICI) waste streams and will report back with findings to Environment Minister Mary Polak.

“I commend Metro Vancouver for their continued efforts toward protecting the environment and achieving the waste-diversion goals set out in their solid waste management plan,” said Polak. This review will help focus on the most-effective ways to achieve waste diversion going forward.”

The review is in response to Vancouver’s proposed Bylaw 280, which requires waste haulers to deliver residential and commercial waste to Regional Facilities. The document states that it is “necessary for our region to meet aggressive waste diversion goals, while encouraging a flourishing and competitive waste management and recycling industry.” Polak decided not to approve the Bylaw and consider the role local government and the private sector play in diverting away from landfills.  The Environmental Minister cites numerous public-interest concerns that played a role in her decision.

These concerns include:

  • the potential for Bylaw 280 to create a monopoly on waste management;

  • the potential for increased illegal dumping;

  • the possible negative effects on the new packaging and printed paper recycling program; and

  • the destabilizing effect it may have on private-sector collection and hauling. 

Last week, Metro Vancouver said that it would have to raise property taxes if the Province does not approve Bylaw 280. The Waste Management Association of British Columbia (WMABC) mentioned that “Bylaw 280 is simply a tax grab designed to fund the Region's $517 million incinerator to burn Metro Vancouver waste and recyclable materials.”

Vancouver Observer’s special report “Up in Smoke” project explores how the city's original plan to make taxpayers spend half a billion public dollars on an incinerator burns toxic materials into the air instead of resolving environmental issues. VO’s project digs into the whole story. Find out more:


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