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Trash talk the main event at upcoming city meeting

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 29th, 2015

It’s hard to imagine a meeting that sounds more boring than one about municipal solid waste – but it’s actually one that will have a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of residents.

The meeting will cover a variety of options regarding everything from frequency of garbage pick-up and recycling to environmental footprint and tipping fees – even whether the city achieves the designation of Bear Smart, which is a determining factor in whether our conservation officers will have non-lethal options for dealing with bears (at present, they do not).

Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff said the purpose of the meeting (slated for Nov. 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with a presentation at 6 p.m. at the Community Forum) is to share options, along with their pros and cons, with residents, then gather input as to which options residents prefer.

“We did a survey in the spring that saw roughly 400 people respond,” she said, adding that responses helped guide the focus of Tuesday’s meeting. “We’re trying to put together a plan we’ll activate in January.”

She said the Official Community Plan, which was created with resident input, has already identified the goal of becoming a zero waste community.

“In the survey responses, people also said they want us to have a 50-per-cent or higher waste diversion, and the best way to do that is through garbage,” she added.  “Garbage is one of the most tangible things the city deals with – everybody has garbage.”

She said people have also indicated a desire to achieve the Bear Smart designation, both to reduce bear/human conflict and to provide local conservation officers with non-lethal options in dealing with bears (they are only allowed to use lethal options when the city still contains attractants that will only lure the bears right back into town after they’ve been trapped and relocated). Bear-proof garbage containers are part of getting the designation.

“There’s also the issue of tipping fees, which have increased 42 per cent in the last 10 years and are only going to keep going up,” she said.

All this and more will be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting, so it’s well worth it for residents to head down and offer their own two cents as to how the city should move forward.

For more information, call City Hall at 250-365-7227.

Categories: GeneralPolitics

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