Letters to the Editor

Target waste at its source

Re:  Frank Bucholtz, “Waste reduction, overhauling garbage,” The Leader, Sept. 27.

I am all in favour of reducing waste, but I must disagree with the entire point of this editorial because Surrey’s new Rethink Waste Collection Program is not something to be celebrated. Instead, it should be recognized for what it is, a program that reduces current service levels and penalizes taxpayers for something completely out of their control.

The article states Surrey was one of the first cities to contract out garbage collection with immediate savings. I think it goes without saying that in the subsequent years of contracting out garbage collection, the cost to the taxpayers of Surrey has constantly increased. That rate would have been much less if the city had continued to provide  garbage collection. I believe the only benefit from contracting out the service is it removes a bargaining chip from the unions.

Nonetheless, Surrey’s Rethink Waste Collection Program basically punishes consumers. By making the taxpayer sort the garbage, store the garbage for an additional week because of the reduced service, and  financially penalizing any household that cannot maintain garbage within the  arbitrarily set limitations, I am not sure how anyone could even try to say this program is innovative. I am sure there are unique family dynamics like blended families, etc. that will be penalized simply because of a large number of children living at home generating more waste through consuming more than your “average” household. What about the families that must keep generations together in the same house just to afford housing costs? The only thing I see from this program is further increases in illegal dumping throughout Surrey which is already a big issue.

The Rethink Waste Collection Program is no different than punishing a drug addict for the drug trade. Households are being held accountable for all of the waste made by manufacturers of products. Instead of punishing households for the management of garbage we should expand our efforts to reduce waste at its source, not at its end use.

 

Greg Mitchell, Surrey

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