An open letter mayor and council on curbside recycling

I read the article about the Mayor Curtis’s tantrum. The mayor is “disappointed” that his pet project is under critical analysis, while the former councillor makes statements that are not accurate.

I read the article about the Mayor Curtis’s tantrum. The mayor is “disappointed” that his pet project is under critical analysis, while the former councillor makes statements that are not accurate. This proposed increase in garbage fees of over 150 per cent does not include water nor sewer costs, but only for solid waste management. It is way out of proportion for what the citizens would be getting in return and it’s no wonder we get policies and rate increases that don’t reflect realities nor accurate evaluation.

We already have a blue box pick up for any of those citizens who so wish this service. It is totally user pay. What the mayor proposes is a universal program for recycling which is not user pay, but a subsidy for those who are too lazy or too busy to recycle themselves. To top it off, they are worried about one processor, the one who wants this lucrative contract for their bottom line. Why would mayor and council interfere with private enterprise and give full support to an organization that has multitudes of staff and executives not-for-profit? We never hear the private recycler complain about being “starved out.”

There is a half million dollars of federal gas tax contribution that would go a long way in implementing pay for value processing fees. The real reason we have this perceived problem now is because the city and YTG have sat on their hands for far too many years since the Solid Waste Management Plan was released.

These two politicians brag about the City’s user pay and cost recovery policies. What they always leave out in the details is that City utility programs are a cost plus contract with their constituents. Policies and action have been severely compromised by this inaction. We need to reverse the paradigm of simply raising fees and or taxes to solve problems. For example, where are the laws requiring all recyclables to be charged up-front fees at the counter? Where are the laws requiring businesses to pay for part of this problem by having to accept recyclable material they produce — much of which is over-packaging — that won’t change unless the businesses are made fiscally responsible? Europe has used this method for many years.

Finally, where is the analysis that suggests a universal charge will be effective? The number of citizens who will actually use this system is perceived, not actual nor adequately surveyed. Let’s look at the universal compost strategy. How many of the Whitehorse residents and businesses are compliant with this program? It’s is not hard to tell. Just drive around each community during compost day and survey the number of bins on the curb and then add on a couple of per cent for citizens like myself who do our own composting. If it’s anything like my area, this program is seriously lacking.

Get your head out of the sand and make some decisions other than fee or tax increases, which appears to be your sole method of dealing with issues.

Roger Rondeau, Whitehorse

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