Halton Politicians Use Their Noggins

TheStar.com - Halton eyes T.O.'s trash: "The waste-to-energy facility would use incineration or other thermal technologies to turn trash to ash."

While Toronto dithers and only considers finding another landfill site, the most polluting option but one that fits in with the ideology of everyone being their own mini-garbage sorting plant, Halton acts. Halton politicians see the mountainous problem, realises trucking it to another country is just amazingly ridiculous, is not about to look at an old, primitive, land-hogging solution that pollutes the ground with leachate (liners notwithstanding) and the air with methane, sees -- this is the mind-boggling part -- that Canadians are coming up with new technologies that solve two problems in one puff (garbage disposal and local electricity generation), and think, hey, why don't we stop wringing our hands over the almost-full landfill and act in the interests of our constituents.

Hopefully, come next spring, Halton politicians will choose to build the large plant that can handle theirs as well as most of Toronto's garbage because I can guarantee you that Toronto politicians will still have made no decision, and their only thinking will run along the lines of how can we put more work on the homeowner, stink up their neighbourhoods by collecting garbage less, and explode the rat population. Of course, the latter they don't see. The classic Emperor with no clothes scenario: pretend we're all being good little garbage handlers, while rats proliferate, sidewalks disappear under as assortment of garbage containers and bags every pickup day, and main arteries reek.

Even though Toronto councillors and the Mayor (and heaven help us if they're all re-elected) are against modern methods of garbage disposal, they will truck it to Halton as their inertia coupled with Michigan finally closing its border successfully, will force them to. They'll be able to say, it's not in our backyard, so it's OK. Meanwhile we'll still have no local electricity generation that makes sense. But frankly, the garbage issue is the more pressing, more socially destructive of the two.

"Gord Perks of the Toronto Environmental Alliance said building energy-from-waste plants is not the right solution to the garbage crisis.

The best solution is a combination of strict packaging laws and good recycling programs to reduce the volume going into landfills, he said."

Apparently if an incinerator (plasma or otherwise) is built, then it will demand lots of garbage to feed it and pay for it, and we'll go back to the sensible papers (and plastics that actually get recycled) in one box, everything else in another, no more sorting in every room of the house, no more stress over which goes out when. More time for leisure, less time in handling garbage before it even hits the curb. For people like Perks, this is apparently too awful to think about.

Hopefully, this means Mr. Perks will come and handle my garbage for me since he as so much time to waste in sorting it in every room it's generated, can remember which goes out when and how, and doesn't mind the smell nor the space it takes up from it not being picked up frequently enough. No? I didn't think so.

Congratulations to Halton! They have given us all a glimmer of hope in the nightmare that garbage has become. I just hope their new Council shows as much sense and as much determination as this one, to make a decision in the spring and to have a facility up and running by 2009, and that they can withstand people who think like Mr. Perks.


A Sampling of Other Posts:

Toronto Politicians Suck up Our Time

From Marble to Dirt

Premier's Electricity Conundrum

Toronto's Trash: No New Thinking


Mark Dowling said…
no doubt many dogooders will be heading down the 401 to oppose this - however I hope Halton mean what they say about using best available technology, since the wind does blow our way.
Very true. It sounds like they have an open mind to consider all the latest tech (I hope including SUBBOR). Let's hope that's true!