The world came to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics and much was made of the natural beauty of our city. We were a mean, green city and we were proud of that.
Now a few short years later, the Metro Vancouver regional authority wants to build a massive garbage incinerator at a yet-to-be-determined location in the Lower Mainland that will purposefully pump more smog into the air and burn recycled goods like paper and plastic. And get this, taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill to breathe it all it all in -- a whopping $470 million (and counting).
If this plan doesn't sound insane enough, the project is going ahead without a business plan being made public. In fact, the only thing close to a business plan so far is a report done by the accounting firm KPMG finding that the final price tag will likely be significantly higher (big surprise).
Port Coquitlam mayor and chair of Metro Vancouver, Greg Moore, a staunch defender of this nutty plan, says that the business case cannot be made public because it would compromise negotiations with companies bidding on the project. But it is not Moore's money, it is the taxpayers that will be investing in this project, and any good investor should know what they are investing in.
Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Association calls the incinerator a "sinkhole" and John Winters, president of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, says his group is also opposed to the incinerator plan.
Common sense is lacking here.
Other regions around the world are putting in place plans that work with industry to reduce waste and packaging, work with citizens to increase recycling at the curb, and work with waste companies to find smart ways to sort out any remaining recycling so it doesn't end up in a landfill. That's a common sense approach and one that works in the long term.
Here's a great video on what San Francisco is doing -- they also have some pretty harsh words about Metro Vancouver's plan:
Metro Vancouver will be holding a "public" consultation on their waste incineration plan on Wednesday, April 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (you know, when most of us will be at work).
Let them know you think of their plan to spend your money, burn recycling and dump more pollutants into the air we breathe. If you can't make it, leave a comment below and I will take them all to the Metro Van meeting.
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