Letter: New West's recycling depot is a service, not a business

Editor:

Shame on mayor and council for continuing to move forward on shutting down our precious recycle centre at the Canada Games facility in the next few months.

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This is a horribly informed decision, and so poorly thought out. It would appear that mayor and council are more concerned about leaving their legacy on the new pool and recreation facility with their names on a plaque there? Perhaps councillors’ names on a plaque celebrating a new state-of-the-art recycle centre located close to the existing site might strike a chord with our youth who are fighting so hard for a greener world.

The irony of sitting through a council meeting and listening to the fact that council were endorsing over a $90-million loan for the new pool and recreation centre, but were justifying shutting down our recycle centre (for a lower amount) is not lost on most citizens of New West.

As an owner of a single-family dwelling, this facility is critical and is now centrally located. I was shocked at two things when I attended a recent council meeting when options were being presented.

Council thinks they can actually host occasional pop-up, roaming recycle events around the city with no consistent regular dates (weekly) - this is a ludicrous idea.

Also, one councillor commented on prices for glass are dropping so they are losing money on glass, totally forgetting this is a service (not a business) to the citizens of New West.

The City of New West, on their website statement on Environment and Sustainability, say “The City of New Westminster is committed to protecting, enhancing and managing the natural environment in order to provide a sustainable living environment for local residents.”

If city council is going to talk the talk, then they need to walk the walk and truly commit to their environmental statement not just false words.

I am sure space could be easily dedicated in a small corner of the new Canada Games or somewhere centrally in the city. When reviewing the new pool and recreation design, there is so much wasted space in the new courtyard area, that would not get utilized the vast majority of the time, a small portion of this area would be far better utilized in maintaining an updated recycle center. The mayor and council talk about saving over $100,000 per year by relocating and co-operating with the waste facility in Coquitlam, but at what expense really.

Our city claims to have green initiatives and to be a green city yet they have no concern for the massive amount of carbon we will be putting in the atmosphere driving back and forth to Coquitlam. Can you imagine how much worse in rush hour? We should be getting cars off the roads, not creating more traffic. Any objective person will tell you that this decision will result in things like glass, Styrofoam, and items even worse for the environment, being put right in their garbage or recycle bin rather than having a frustrating 30 minute drive back and forth to Coquitlam. This recycle center in New West should be considered a service to New West Citizens, not a money generator. What is council telling our youth of today who are trying desperately to set green examples? What about creating a state of the art facility in central New West.

Our council and mayor have truly lost their way and ability to represent the citizens of New West.

Brad Clarke, New Westminster

Editor’s note: According to the city, the $100,000 amount is not the only savings for New West. The other major cost is acquiring land and building a new facility.

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