A massive waste-to-energy garbage incinerator is being proposed for Nanaimo, population 88,000, to burn Metro Vancouver's garbage. It would be located on a site roughly 50 kilometres south of downtown Nanaimo, but prevailing winds would rain toxic material all over a town that breathes air rated by the World Health Organization as among the cleanest on earth.
Garbage -- or to use the more politically correct term, waste -- is big business. Really big. It can also be a messy business, particularly when politicians get involved. So no big surprise that the left hand doesn't seem to care what the right hand is doing at Metro Vancouver when it comes to regional waste management.
It was crisp and gloriously bright day in early January in Vancouver — the perfect conditions for outdoor chores like taking down Christmas lights. Or, in my case, it also meant grabbing tongs and a pail to scour my block for coffee cups, bus tickets, plastic packaging, as well as used condoms and discarded bags of dog feces.