Big bins do indeed pose problem

Re: ‘Large garbage bins can pose a problem’ (Letters, PQB News, Jan. 31)

I agree wholeheartedly with Linda Kermode’s letter about the planned new garbage bins.

While the automated service undoubtedly has some advantages, it is indeed hard to imagine how the bins will “improve neighbourhood appearance,” as the “Zero Waste” brochure from the RDN claims. Because the new bins, being larger and heavier, will be more difficult to handle than those that many households presently use, it will be no surprise if, instead of being stored out of sight in a backyard or garage, they are kept on the driveway or even beside the road, as is the case in many places where automated collection is used.

It is certainly surprising that the regional board would vote to switch to these larger bins at a time when we are being urged to recycle as much as possible and thereby reduce the amount of garbage we produce. Furthermore, I understood that one of the aims of “zero waste” was to reduce the quantity of material that goes to the landfill, so how does the inclusion of garden waste with the regular garbage help towards that goal? Then there is the matter of disposing of some 68,000 existing garbage bins, which is hardly an environment-friendly project in itself.

Oh, and one last point is the question of who will pay for the new bins. Well, we will, of course, whether directly or indirectly. Nor is it likely that we will see any reduction in our collection charge because of the supposedly more efficient service.

I hope the board’s decision was not unduly influenced by the recent Curbside Collection Survey, since the 63% of 849 total survey respondents who opted for automated collection represent only a small portion (one third of 1%) of the RDN’s 155,000 residents.

Elizabeth Marsland

Qualicum Beach

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