Recycling program not thought through

The City of Victoria has the habit of jumping on the “green” bandwagon without thinking out repercussions from start to end.

Take, for example, the organics (kitchen scraps) recycling initiative.

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The Capital Regional District has suspended the licence of the Central Saanich recycling facility because of neighbours’ complaints of the stench. The organics are now trucked to a Cobble Hill facility.

Who would have guessed that rotting food might smell? I’m sure the garbage collectors are not enjoying the new perfume of the job as the biodegradable bags degrade successfully in the two weeks between pickups. Now I have to drain the five centimetres of putrid liquid from the bottom of my green box and wash it out after each pickup, trying to keep upwind of the mess. I hope that rat I saw last week was just transient.

An organics recycling program needs a lot of up-front planning, from the bags used, the timing of pickups, and especially the industrial design and construction of a composting facility that eliminates any odours from being released, instead of just hoping it’s far enough away so nobody notices them. The product should also have no unpleasant odour, so the claim it is the farms it is spread on just doesn’t wash.

The methane gas byproduct also needs a proper utilization system so it doesn’t enter the atmosphere, where it is 25 times as potent as CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

John Hutchinson




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