Two weeks is too long

Questions on the feasibility and logistics of planned recycling and garbage changes.

Dear editor,

Re “Changes coming to North Island Recycling (Gazette, Apr. 3):

I have just read Mr. Donaghy’s commentary in the North Island Gazette regarding the curbside collection service which will be starting in the Port Hardy area on May 19 and am amazed that the Regional District is pushing this through without the residents of Port Hardy and other towns having a say in the matter. Surely this type of action should have gone to a referendum.

Although I applaud the recycling efforts of the District of Mount Waddington you apparently have not thought this plan through, or at least have not presented it in its entirety to the citizens of the North Island.

First off, in the article it states that regular garbage pick-up will only be made every two weeks. Are you not aware of the wildlife problem we have here on the North Island? As it is now, to not encourage bears and other wildlife I have to keep my garbage inside my home and put it out just before the garbage truck arrives.

If I put it outside and my garbage is strewn about by a bear looking for delectable morsels (the smell of which will only increase if kept for more than a week), I can be subject to a fine for littering. Are you going to provide bear proof garbage containers free for each and every household to use?

Also, keeping kitchen garbage in the house (not to mention the smell of keeping two weeks’ worth of used disposable diapers that are in some people’s garbage) will surely attract rats.  There is no mention that if in alternate weeks if we want to take our garbage to the 7 Mile Pit or Fox’s that we will not be charged. Hey, what is that charge that I pay on my utility taxes for?

You may seriously find that instead of keeping the bush and grounds around our fine towns litter-free, they become more of a dumping area because they don’t want the inconvenience of taking their garbage to the Pit or having to pay to get rid of it. The viewing of unrecyclables decorating our forests is not a good selling point if we want to extoll the beauty of the North Island to tourists.

You may think that two weeks is not a long period to harbour garbage, but sometimes through vacation or sickness or whatever we can’t always get the garbage to the curb on pickup day and some people do not have areas to store two weeks’ worth of garbage. Have you never watched the shows on TV showing how hoarding garbage can be detrimental to people’s health and also a safety hazard to the community – the Regional District seems to want to encourage it. Hmmm??

Like a responsible citizen I take my recyclables to the blue boxes near Storey’s Beach; however, I have learned that these will be removed. OK, so are you going to provide nice new blue plastic boxes so we can sort the recyclables? If so, are they going to be free or are the citizens going to have to pay another fee for the use of these boxes? Of course, then we can expect the recycling fee on our utility tax bill to be increased as well.

I have only just written to you as a person with a household — how are you going to provide service for businesses such as restaurants or schools whose daily garbage is probably quite more substantial than a normal household? Or do businesses get weekly pickup?

Before pushing this plan down the throats of North Islanders I ask that you reconsider or at least provide us with more detail than the information that you will be putting up a web page describing what can be recycled. I am concerned with the garbage on the north end but all your commentary has done is making me and other citizens angry. Please, Mr. Donaghy, provide more detail before you enact this change.

Alison Flannigan

Port Hardy