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  • Writer's pictureAndreas Tize

Why opting out of food waste collection will not be an option

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

I have debated long and hard whether opting out of organics pickup should be an option for us in the Creek. Initially I thought it was a given, but after some debate with other directors and members of the community, I believe that providing that option is not in the best interest of our community. Here is why:

- Very few people (apparently less than 50 people in Gibsons) divert 100% of their organics and are opting out. 100% includes bones (burning is not acceptable), meat scraps, soiled paper and cardboard and compostable packaging.


- The administrative cost of opting out (creating, reviewing and verifying each application) would have to be paid for by those not opting out - is that fair? People opting out will have to re-apply every year, because the district can’t keep track of properties changing hands and who is doing what. That means the administrative burden will be on-going. 


- There are virtually no cost savings in the program if people opt out, meaning that those that don’t opt out will have to pay more. The truck will still be driving by. 


- There are many other services that we all pay for whether we use them or not - schools, recreation, libraries. They are services that everyone cost-shares because we see the collective value in them, and they would be unaffordable if not everyone paid for them. We are looking at the end of our landfill. We have to get the organics out of our garbage. Curbside pickup is the most cost-effective way to do that. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Even if you dispose of your organics in a way that is 100% responsible (no risk of wildlife interaction, no burning of bones, etc.) there is no guarantee your neighbour does or will… creating rodent, bear and other issues. 


- The increase in cost will be partially offset (approx. 50%) by reducing our curbside garbage pickup to bi-weekly. 




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Andreas Tize
Andreas Tize
Jan 31, 2020

Currently 40% of all garbage going to the landfill is organics. That includes Gibsons garbage that is already much lower in Organics because they already collect it curbside.

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heathergordon
Jan 31, 2020

Thanks for the quick response. In my case last year's 160 refuse might reasonably become 90 plus 100 (second year) - so maybe 200. Doable I suppose but as a senior on fixed income every increase has impact. I'll be interested in hearing just how much less goes to the landfill. I think regular recycling might yield more reduction despite what the research said - especially in RC where lots of us compost.

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Andreas Tize
Andreas Tize
Jan 31, 2020

Hi Heather, yes, the charges for refuse collection will roughly decrease by half, and we will be doing weekly organics. So the overall costs will increase by roughly a third.

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heathergordon
Jan 31, 2020

Will our refuse collection charges be reduced by half when the garbage collection moves to bi-weekly? Or will the food waste collection fees simply be added on to current refuse collection charges?

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