San Francisco’s progress on zero waste shows Metro’s more modest goal very achievable

News that San Francisco is on track to achieve its goal of zero waste by 2020 — a more aggressive target than Metro Vancouver’s 80 percent diversion — is proof that our region can achieve a major shift to recycling, provided Metro maintains control of regional waste management.

That’s why Bylaw 280, which would require all waste in the region to pass through Metro-approved facilities, is key to Metro’s plans and the target of unremitting attack by private waste haulers, who are doing big business trucking waste outside the region for rail transport to US landfills. (Note: recyclers favour Bylaw 280. I wrongly included them among opponents in the original post. My apologies.)

Private haulers are hiding their own self-interest by charging that Bylaw 280 is simply designed to assure a steady waste supply to Metro Vancouver’s proposed waste-to-energy incinerator, but the two issues are quite separate. You can agree that incineration is not needed — pointing to San Franscisco as a real example — while still supporting a common sense bylaw to ensure all of Metro’s waste is properly handled.