Editorial — Many composting questions require some answers

The composting controversy in Langley City may be quelled somewhat by answers to the basic questions residents are asking. These were publicized at Monday’s council meeting.

However, there are other questions about composting, both in the City and beyond, which also require answers.

Why did the City go into composting the way it did? The City decided to extend its garbage contract with Emterra and initiate composting, even though the contractor does not have the ability to pick up larger bins as is now the case in Surrey.

Thus conventional cans are needed for both garbage and compost. This means residents who compost a lot of material may end up putting out a large number of garbage cans.

The City could have gone with Emterra or another contractor and  brought in large bins for automated pickup at the same time, but that’s an expense it didn’t want to consider.

The City has expended a great deal of energy on changing the system for single-family homes, but why has it done so little to initiate any change for residents of multi-family units?

This is particularly surprising in a City which has a stated goal of higher densities. If there is a drive to drastically reduce the amount of material going to garbage dumps, why not put at least as much energy into bringing in recycling and composting at apartment buildings and townhouse complexes?

It appears to be a lack of imagination. The City isn’t responsible for picking up that garbage, so has all but ignored the issue.

Another question which needs an answer is this. How many more compost facilities, such as one proposed on River Road in Glen Valley, will be proposed in Langley in coming years? If there is a drive to do more composting, where will it all end up?

The operator of the Glen Valley complex says it will only handle yard waste. How is that possible when all these municipal composting programs ask people to throw out vegetables, food waste, meat scraps, bones and other items — and put it all in one container for pickup?

The trend towards more composting is a good one. It makes sense to send less material which can be turned into something useful to a garbage dump, or landfill (as cities euphemistically name it.)

However, there needs to be clear answers about all aspects of composting. So far, these have been sorely lacking.

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