Waste management plan long overdue
Residents of Trinity and Conception Bays should be encouraged to learn they will be able to get rid of their bulk waste materials closer to home when new waste recovery facilities are set up around the Avalon Peninsula and Eastern Newfoundland.
Appliances, furniture, shingles, tires and construction and demolition waste are among the bulk items that could be disposed of at these sites.
Five facilities are already in operation, including one at Old Perlican, and five more, including ones at Harbour Grace, Cavendish and Whitbourne are expected to be up and running by next summer.
The move should be welcomed by all those who have had to cart such items to the regional waste facility at Robin Hood Bay.
Since the closure of the smaller regional waste facility at Harbour Grace more then a decade ago, we all know what has happened. Instead of taking the longer and more costly route to Robin Hood Bay, many, too many have opted for the shorter one - to the nearest wooded area behind towns and communities throughout the region.
While those who have been practicing in such illegal dumping in the region may have saved a buck, it has come at the expense of something that is priceless - our once pristine environment.
The tragic result has been the transformation of our environment into a veritable wasteland of garbage.
These new facilities will hopefully make it more convenient for local residents to dispose of bulk waste closer to home. Having to take it 100 kilometres away should no longer be an excuse to dump it in the woods.
Will these sites help reduce the problem of illegal dumping in the region? Or is that too much wishful thinking on the part of those of us who give a damn about our environment?
What’s that saying? We didn’t inherit our environment from our ancestors to do with it whatever we want; we only borrow it from future generations. We have no right to damage and destroy it.
To date some 30 landfills have been closed throughout the region, and the remaining 12 are expected to be shut down by next year or 2013.
Let’s not forget the important role to be played by curbside recycling in reducing the amount of waste actually going to landfills. Approximately half the residents of the Eastern Region already have access to curbside recycling. It is encouraging to see growing interest among local community leaders to get on board and take part in this worthwhile program.
The long-awaited plan for waste management in the region has been in the works for years - too many years.
Now that it has been finalized and is in the hands of government, let’s hope it doesn’t take as long to implement as it did to develop and complete. But knowing how painfully slow the wheels of government bureaucracy tend to grind, perhaps it would not be wise to hold our collective breath.