Toxic waste dump not on anyone’s list of best things for the community

Does anyone really need a report to determine in this day and age of gross over-consumption, spiraling food and fuel prices, civic unrest and the relentless poisoning of our biosphere, that contemplating building a toxic processing plant on our doorstep is a bad idea?

Obviously it is important for our civic, provincial and federal leaders to make informed decisions.

When Coun. Ziggy Stewart states, “I didn’t say it was going to happen…[a landfill at Elk Falls mill site] I want see what’s best for Campbell River,” he raises a vital question about the vision for our community, and region, at City Hall. Just what is best for Campbell River and, by extension, the neighboring communities? I venture that a toxic waste dump is not on the list.

Does anyone really need a report to determine in this day and age of gross over-consumption, spiraling food and fuel prices, civic unrest and the relentless poisoning of our biosphere, that contemplating building a toxic processing plant on our doorstep is a bad idea?

The simple solution to dealing with waste is to not produce it in the first place. Zero waste strategies are implemented in cities far larger than Campbell River with the goal of eliminating waste entirely. The report in question is investigating the merit of spending yet more tax money building a landfill and/or incinerator etc.. to fix a problem that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

As for aiming to capitalize on ‘economic opportunities’ by developing a facility large enough to accept waste from Vancouver et al, this just adds another floor to an already precarious house-of-cards and goes nowhere toward offering a long-term sustainable vision for our region and province.

Worse than bucking the trend – no, need – to fully embrace truly sustainable, post-peak-oil strategies, a toxic waste facility just adds to problems we already face: it will be a detriment to the health and well-being of residents, continue to enable unsustainable consumption, poison air, land and water and the list goes on and on.

I suggest that if mayor and council don’t want to “make a bad decision for residents of Campbell River” they will reject such an ill-thought proposal out of principle and instead embark on a transition town strategy including a zero waste initiative.

Philip Stone

Quadra Island

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