We know lots of people are concerned about recycling and the benefits that it has to our environment, but does anyone care about the current recycling review going on at the Sunshine Coast Regional District? Judging by the pitiful response at the first round of public houses last month, many don't - and that is really sad.
That will hopefully change on Saturday as the SCRD presents its next round of open houses in Pender Harbour, Sechelt and Gibsons.
A four-part feature in Coast Reporter last year profiling the many recycling options on the Coast got residents and politicians talking. Government leaders began questioning the recycling service provided by the SCRD. Was it the best option, or was there a better alternative or perhaps more efficient companies on the Coast that could provide a better service at less cost?
In response to those concerns, the SCRD created a recycling review committee, and the 12-member team has been trying to come up with ways to make the service better. Many ideas were generated and four options were finally chosen, with option three selected as the best course of action. Along with expanded depots, option three incorporates curbside pickup, which would see the SCRD adding user-pay curbside collection for those homes already getting garbage pickup.
The committee sees this option as having the greatest environmental upside, but it's also more costly due to higher staffing costs. It will now cost $33 instead of $29 per household to support the depots and the fees will stay at $60 for curbside pick-up, but now more households would be paying. It's an interesting option, but not everyone is happy with the selection or the review. Several private recycling companies have been frustrated with the process, saying it is a big waste of money to conduct the review in the first place. We interviewed Buddy Boyd of Gibsons Recycling last week. He believes the options laid out are too vague and that the system quite frankly doesn't work.
But now the ball is clearly in your court. If you like this option, get out to the open houses and voice your support. If you don't like the options, then get out there and suggest an alternative. The larger the turnout, the better chance we will have of getting the best environmentally-friendly and cost-effective recycling service, one that meets everyone's needs.