100 signatures reached
To: CRD Board Members
Stop Massive Landfill Expansion at Hartland
CRD’s draft Solid Waste Management Plan calls for the expansion of the Hartland Landfill and the removal of 73 acres of trees in order to allow for the continual dumping of waste by expanding the existing life of the landfill to 2100. Public consultation comes to a close on January 15, 2021.
Canadian landfill emissions account for 20% of our national methane emissions according to the Government of Canada's site on Municipal Solid Waste and Greenhouse Gases. Methane isn’t just a fuel – it’s also a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Any methane that is manufactured intentionally, whether from biogenic or other sources, will contribute to climate change if it enters the atmosphere.
Why is this important?
The CRD, the province and the federal government have all publicly acknowledged that we are in a climate emergency and the need to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. As a society, we need to move towards zero waste and the creation of a circular economy. Expanding the landfill during a climate emergency is not the solution or direction that will help us achieve a cleaner, more sustainable future.
Transitioning to a cleaner economy starts with finding smart new approaches and technologies out of the materials we might otherwise throw away instead of expanding landfills and generating more methane and greenhouse gases.
The circular economy is a new way of doing business that extracts as much value as possible from resources by recycling, repairing, reusing, repurposing, or refurbishing products and materials—eliminating waste and greenhouse gas emissions at the design stage.
Other cleaner alternative waste management solutions do exist and are already in use in continents that include Europe and Asia involving waste to energy solutions and bolder incentives to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. We want the CRD to take another look at what is happening in other jurisdictions including Nanaimo’s Solid Waste Management Plan which will divert 90% of its municipal waste from the landfill through bolder recycling initiatives.
Why is this important now?
Waste management and garbage generation is a shared responsibility by all of us whether you live in James Bay, Sooke, Saanich or the southern Gulf Islands. We all generate garbage that ends up in the landfill. It's time to think and act collectively by changing our own behaviors and consumption patterns that produce waste, and by demanding more progressive thinking and leadership on the proposed Solid Waste Management Plan by our elected CRD representatives when we know that better solutions exist.
While we certainly agree with the CRD’s Pollution Prevention Hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle and recovery, we want the CRD to strengthen their commitment by halting their current plan to expand the landfill and respectfully go back to the table to seriously act on adopting alternative waste management technologies, to help us move progressively towards achieving a circular economy.
Other municipalities and regional districts have either already implemented or are studying more environmentally sound and technological solutions to help significantly reduce waste from ending up in the landfill. These alternatives include thermal and WtE technology as well as more effective community initiatives that incentivize individuals and businesses to avoid placing compostable and reusable items in the landfill.
The CRD's continued reliance on tipping fees as a revenue source, along with projected revenue from the sale of renewable natural gas (RNG) to FortisBC, relies on the status quo approach of continuing to expand a landfill that releases methane gases into the environment.
The CRD's current plan to destroy 73 acres of forest and sensitive eco-systems in the Mount Work area is unacceptable. This forest stores 180 tonnes of carbon a year - an offset equivalent to taking 195 cars off the road every year. Over the 50 year extension of the proposed Hartland landfill, carbon emissions would be increased by 9000 tonnes. This amount is inconsistent with the CRD's overall goal of making the region carbon neutral by 2050.
Forests have many life sustaining values such as controlling rainfall runoff, cleansing water and air, providing habitat for wildlife and birds, and storing carbon. The BC Conservation Data Centre iMap shows that the surrounding forest habitat of Mount Work and Durrance Lake Regional Park are home to 16 species at risk including the rare Western Screech Owl.
Let the Minister of Environment and the CRD Board know that you don't support their current plans to expand the Hartland Landfill when they could adopt alternative waste management practices that will put us on the road to embracing zero waste practices, a circular economy and a sustainable future.
Have questions? Need further information? Check out the MountWorkCoalition.org website and look for our Call to Action! https://www.mountworkcoalition.org/be-informed/call-to-action-public-feedback-needed-now-on-crd-draft-solid-waste-management-plan
How it will be delivered
We'll take the signatures we collect straight to the CRD and Minister of Environment.