Waste Management

The Sunshine Coast has a population of about 30,000 stretched out along 92 km of highway from Port Mellon to Earls Cove. Our ability to expand geographically is finite – we have the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. How we handle our garbage is a major issue.

The existing Solid Waste Management Plan is an excellent document and has the potential to take us to the goal of Zero Waste. But it’s time to update it and refine it, with new and innovative technologies in mind.

The current Sechelt Landfill has (at most) 7 more years. The process of dealing with any solution regarding solid waste is long and usually very controversial. We need to get moving now.

A recent study has revealed that 40% of the waste in our landfill is organics. That’s a huge amount. A better system needs to be established that would allow us to use the organic waste constructively. For example, I recently saw a news item about Surrey and how all their garbage collection trucks are fuelled by the garbage they collect. We need to come up with those kinds of innovative solution that would work on the Sunshine Coast.

There are many options being discussed and I need far more information before taking a stand on most of them. I am clear on 2 things:

  1. The only financially feasible way to handle solid waste management is with district-wide cooperation and collaboration.
  2. The answer is not to ship our garbage elsewhere. This is our garbage and we need to handle it here.