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Good moves on waste front

At last, quality progess on the garbage, recycling, waste front… For Canmore residents living near the current recycling facility on Boulder Crescent and who loudly complained about the possibility of expansion, the idea of moving recycling and stora
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At last, quality progess on the garbage, recycling, waste front…

For Canmore residents living near the current recycling facility on Boulder Crescent and who loudly complained about the possibility of expansion, the idea of moving recycling and storage to the wastewater treatment plant area will be seen as a victory.

Rightly so.

At the time of the proposed recycling facility expansion, no access could be had to the wastewater plant, and residents near the present facility cringed at the likelihood of increased traffic, noise and smell associated with a larger facility.

It appears showing up to forums and putting forward a 1,000-name petition worked in their favour. At the time, residents also feared that increasing the size of the facility, located near more than 200 homes and a daycare, could involve health risks.

The thing is, everything about waste is becoming more expensive. It’s been known for some time now that the cost of hauling waste to Calgary landfills will be rising sharply in the future.

Rising costs mean municipalities must do more to deal with their own waste, not just ramp up the costs of shipping it to somebody’s else’s backyard.

As to recycling, keeping specialty recycling in place at Boulder Crescent – oil, batteries, fluorescent tubes – will keep it handy for Canmore citizen dropoffs while the majority of the material, cardboard, plastics, tin, glass, etc. can be dealt with at a larger facility near the treatment plant.

The treatment plant is at least further away from residential areas and there is room there for expansion should it be required in future.

As part of the Town’s, with Banff, waste management strategy, it’s encouraging to see that investigation of further reductions in waste is going ahead.

Being that food waste is a large percentage of that produced in town, there is little doubt that a future organics pickup/management system is needed. Rather than paying to truck very heavy wet organic waste (those compostibles we all have, such as veggie peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc.), out of the valley, it would be much more suitable to deal with it here and, through a composting program, create something useful from it, even if it’s simply used for quarry rehabilitation and planting.

There is little likelihood valley residents will be reducing food usage, so developing a program to deal with its waste should be a priority in an area where land is at a premium. After all, no matter how keen citizens become in getting involved in vermicomposting, one can only expect worms to do so much for us.

Energy-to-waste is also an interesting concept, though the idea of burning garbage to keep the valley powered up will have its detractors, as is the idea of biosolids. Still, the idea of creating an eventual marketable product from solid waste is a good one; again, particularly it coming out of landfills and the associated costs of hauling it there.

Tragic death on tracks

Once again, a life has been lost on the train tracks which run through our valley.

Our condolences go out to the family of the Chilean man killed on the tracks, Tuesday, but the issue of being responsible for one’s own safety arises again.

While it has yet to be determined with certainty whether the man had voluntarily decided to not ensure his own saftey by wearing some form of earphones which may have muffled the sound of an approaching train, the suspicion is there.

Let’s all take it upon ourselves to stay off the tracks and stay safe by being aware of the dangers around us.




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