EDITORIAL: Trashy balloon

Metro Vancouver should not even consider the Island as a possible dumping ground for its trash

A layman’s look at the ecosystems of Vancouver Island reveal important estuaries, water-source mountain tops, prime agricultural land and vital shorelines.

Not the ideal place, one would think, to locate a facility to burn garbage, let alone import the stuff from Metro Vancouver.

That was a topic of discussion this week at the Regional District of Nanaimo’s board of directors meeting (see Neil Horner’s story, page A1 today). It’s not an imminent thing, but clearly the trial balloon has been floated and it caught the attention of some regional district officials up and down the Island.

Metro Vancouver needs a place to dump its garbage. Burning that garbage to create energy sounds like a reasonable goal.

Just not here, thank you very much.

To be clear, there is no specific deal or site named for Vancouver’s trash. And this could end up being much ado about nothing, at least for Island residents. However, we applaud RDN solid waste manager Dennis Trudeau for bringing the issue to the attention of elected officials this week.

A potential site for the incinerator could be Duke Point. That’s a little too close to home and scary, as an RDN director who lives less than 30 kilometres from Duke point said this week.

We aren’t concerned about the fact these are early days in this discussion. We don’t care if there really is no plan to barge Vancouver’s garbage to the Island. We offer our early and strident opposition to this idea right now, even if it was just a trial balloon.

The up sides? Some will say jobs, some will say the creation of a renewable energy system, some may even say that if the garbage was trucked rather than barged, and used our ferry system, it could boost the bottom line and save B.C. Ferries.

All of that is rubbish, pun fully intended. It would be rude to identify specific communities and regions of the province here and now, but if anyone is asking, we could easily provide a long list of B.C. locations for Vancouver’s garbage, places which are less environmentally sensitive, less reliant on tourism dollars, less beautiful.

Hey Vancouver – don’t even start looking in a westerly direction for your garbage solutions.

— Editorial by John Harding