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Editorial — Food won't be wasted
You might as well get used to recycling your food waste and soiled paper because, soon, you may be fined if you don’t.
Although Metro Vancouver hasn’t laid out many of the dirty details, such as how scofflaws would be caught and who would pay, it has set some pretty hefty targets for recycling. Among its plans is an outright ban on food waste and soiled papers going in the garbage — and, thus, to the landfill.
And it’s not just people living in single-family homes who will no longer be allowed to toss a pizza box into the trash bin. Business owners and condo and apartment-dwellers will also have to separate their food waste if the region is to attain its goal of a 70% recycling rate, up from about 55% now.
If the region’s new Zero Waste Challenge strategy comes to pass, organic food waste and soiled papers would be banned from garbage for single-family homes by the end of 2012, when most curbside pick-up will be available, and business operators and residents of multi-family complexes will have to separate their green waste by 2015.
Port Coquitlam is already leading the way by providing green waste collection for all multi-family homes by April. It’s the way the world is going and the sooner cities get onside, the sooner taxpayers will see a benefit. Hopefully, the amount of garbage burned or buried will drop and there will be less greenhouse gas-producing methane pumped into the air.
But making people recycle more won’t be easy. Where once people could throw away their food waste without thinking, they’ll now have to find space, time and storage strategies.
In the end, we hope, the benefits will be worth the hassle.